FOR their family it is a lifeline that could play a vital role in their daughter’s rehabilitation.
So now the Syvret family are pleading with residents to help keep the Rainbow Centre open so that their dream of seeing their six-year-old walk unaided can become a reality.
Parents Jo and Andrew Syvret raised £90,000 to get their daughter Jemima to America for life-changing surgery.
But they are relying on the Rainbow Centre, in Fareham, to provide intensive rehabilitation to ensure she is given the best chance to walk on her own two feet.
However, as previously reported, the centre faces closure if it cannot raise £150,000 in just four weeks after being hit hard following the recession.
Centre director Lara Bull said without the vital funds raised by the Easter Bank Holiday it would not be able to re-open and staff would have to go on unpaid leave while fundraising continued.
Their appeal for help has so far seen more than £110,000 donated but with less than two weeks to go, the charity still needs to find £40,000. So, desperate to see it survive, the Syvrets have added their voice to the battle to keep the centre going.
Jemima, from Otterbourne, was born with quadriplegia, a form of cerebral palsy, and underwent a selective dorsal rhizotomy at the St Louis Children’s Hospital in Missouri last month.
The operation, coupled with physical rehabilitation, could see her eventually walk unaided and it is with the Rainbow Centre’s help that this could become a reality.
Dad Andrew said the centre had already played a major part in Jemima's life since she was born with staff teaching Jemima to speak, sit and play and interact with her environment and other people.
He added: “To think that other families may not have the benefit of this therapy is extremely sad.
“Keeping the centre open will help the lives of thousands of young children like my daughter.
“When you have been told that your child may never be able to do anything, this is an essential lifeline.”
Jemima’s operation in America has been a success, with her parents noticing an immediate improvement with her legs – which are no longer rigidly crossed – as well as her arm movement and her hands.
But if these improvements are going to continue, Jemima will need to rebuild her strength and muscle control once she re-turns home.