BATTLING Kayleigh Fitzpatrick has spent much of her short life in hospital – but now she is helping raise money in aid of other children.
The four-year-old was born 14 weeks premature, weighing just 1lb 7oz, and has since had heart surgery, laser eye treatment and other medical procedures.
The little battler spent two weeks fighting for her life at Great Ormond Street Hospital in London and has had to return on several occasions.
But after pulling through all these ordeals, she is now going from strength to strength and her family have started to put their efforts into helping other children in need.
Mum Diane Grieves, of Usworth, Washington, said: “We organised a charity night to raise money for Great Ormond Street Hospital and I really just want to thank everyone who helped and came along.
“The night was a great success. We had a disco, an auction and a raffle going on, and all in all we raised £4,000.
“I really want to thank everyone who was involved and just to let them know that Kayleigh and her family are really grateful.
“A lot of local shops donated things for the auction, such as bouquets of flowers, a hamper from Asda and a picture of the Stadium of Light.
“The cheques have also now been sent off and they will go to the Peter Pan Ward at Great Ormond Street.”
The fund-raising capped off what was a great festive period for the family.
Diane said: “Kayleigh is doing really well and has come on miles, her speech in particular is coming on great.
“She has had an amazing Christmas and is definitely ready now to go back to school.”
Back in 2007 when Kayleigh was born, mum Diane almost died twice on the operating table at Sunderland Royal Hospital.
Kayleigh would go on to spend the first six months of her life in hospital where she underwent heart surgery and also suffered a sever infection and her lungs collapsing.
But she is now enjoying her time at St Bede’s RC Primary School, in Usworth, Washington, where she started in September.