THE smile on her face says it all.
Jemima Syvret is jetting off to the US for specialist surgery that will change her life.
She is making the trip after her family raised the £90,000 cost of the treatment and rehabilitation.
Parents Jo and Andrew have organised charity balls, run triathlons, rowed around the Isle of Wight and hosted a children’s tea party at their local village hall Now they have said a heartfelt “thank you” to everyone who has supported them – including the Daily Echo, which backed their fundraising appeal.
The family, who live in Otterbourne, have worked hard for the past six months so their six-year-old daughter can undergo a specialist operation to help her eventually walk unaided.
The operation is not available routinely on the NHS, which is why the family have had to look across the Atlantic for help.
When their story was first reported in the Daily Echo the Barker-Mill Foundation charity donated £10,000 while Hampshire car retailers Hendy Ford donated a Fiesta Zetec to be auctioned at their charity ball earlier this month.
Dad Andrew rowed around the Isle of Wight with friends, doubling their target to over £40,000, and brother Oli, 8, ran a triathlon last October raising £1,500, while mum Jo made footstep bracelets making over £1,000.
The final fundraiser was a children’s tea party at Otterbourne Village Hall.
Jo said: “We have been overwhelmed by the support from family and friends and businesses who have helped us.
“We want to give a special mention to Hendy Ford, who so generously donated the car for auction and to Barker-Mill, to all those who rowed around the Isle of Wight with Andrew, to everyone who helped organise the ball and to our community for putting together the village hall party.
“We also want to thank the Daily Echo readers and all the help we have received with the publicity of our campaign.”
Hiltingbury Infant School pupil Jemima was born with quadriplegia, a form of cerebral palsy. She will have to undergo a selective dorsal rhizotomy that will take place at the St Louis Children’s Hospital in Missouri on March 18.
Once the family returns Jemima will face months of hydrotherapy and physiotherapy – all of which will cost £90,000.
Jo added: “This type of surgery varies so much from child to child and Jemima is a very severe case. There will be a significant change after the surgery and all the therapy and it will reduce the need for her to have further surgery later in life. This isn’t a miracle cure.
Jemima will probably still need a frame or a walking stick but this gives her a better chance of being independent of having 24 hour care and possibly even living on her own one day.”