RADICAL surgery to rebuild a little girl's disfigured face is due to take place this weekend.

Hope Elliott, five, of the Redhouse Estate, Sunderland, suffers from a rare condition, known as cystic lymphovenous malformation.

It means that she has a large build-up of cysts on her face and throat which restricts her breathing and strangles her facial nerves.

Her parents, Bernadette and Peter, launched an appeal last year to raise the £35,000 needed for the surgery, which is understood to be scheduled for this weekend or early next week. Hope has already had a series of operations to reduce the size of her face.

It is understood that the operation will be carried out in London by reconstructive surgeon Professor Ian Jackson, who became famous for helping to rebuild the face of a Peruvian boy following the screening of a TV documentary called The Boy David.

Hope is a pupil at Oxclose Primary School in Washington, where fundraising events have been held.

Anyone wanting to make a donation should write to the Hope for Hope Trust Fund, 7 Runnymede Road, Redhouse Estate, Sunderland SR5 5QD.