The parents of a girl who desperately needs physiotherapy to help her walk unaided after a heart transplant have today appealed for funds.
Evie Doherty, four, had a series of strokes after she was diagnosed with a potentially fatal heart condition, dilated cardiomyopathy.
She had a successful heart transplant operation at Great Ormond Street Hospital last year but cannot walk or move properly due to brain damage.
Her parents Nicole and Paul, from Colchester in Essex, are unable to afford the private physiotherapy she needs to regain the full use of her left side. They have launched a crowdfunding page.
Mrs Doherty, 31, who had to give up her job as an accountant to care for Evie, said: “The NHS has been fantastic, especially Great Ormond Street where Evie had the transplant.
"They just can’t afford the physio though. We are having to pay but because I have had to give up work and just get a carer’s allowance we are struggling.”
A trike kitted out for Evie’s needs costs £1,500 and physiotherapy sessions, of which she needs several a week, are at least £75 an hour.
Mrs Doherty said: “We have always paid tax and never before taken any benefits. It’s difficult to ask for help but we have always tried to do the right thing in life by working hard and not getting into debt. Paul is a printer and his work have been great but we just can’t earn enough.”
Evie was the face of Great Ormond Street’s Christmas appeal last year, which raised £1.5 million, and has visited No 10.
Mrs Doherty added: “She is a fighter and inspiration to us all every day. She is starting school in September and is so positive. Her zest for life is amazing. With help we can give her every chance in life. ”