Help fund life-changing operation for battling Sunderland girl

Eight-year-old Paige Harvey with mum Wendy and dad Mark.
Eight-year-old Paige Harvey with mum Wendy and dad Mark.

A mum is leading a campaign to fund a potentially life-changing operation for her daughter as well as provide a wealth of happy memories.

Wendy Harvey has set up the appeal to help eight-year-old Paige, who has Down’s Syndrome and is affected by health complications associated with the chromosome disorder.

Paige Harvey with mum Wendy, dad Mark and brother Euan.

Paige Harvey with mum Wendy, dad Mark and brother Euan.

She under went a bowel operation as a newborn and a series of heart operations, with ongoing concerns over her heart trouble - subaortic muscle obstruction - and the sleep apnoea she suffers.

That interferes with her sleep and she has also been diagnosed with severe floppiness at the back of her throat, with her tongue larger than most children’s due to Down’s Syndrome.

Her family say that even with the use of a ventilator, there is a risk of sudden death, and have begun to look into research being carried out in Switzerland, where a procedure can be carried out to the jaw to help alleviate the problem.

They also have to deal with the added difficulty that Paige removes oxygen masks, with a tracheostomy ruled out because of issue with her neck, as well as the risk of infection and irritation and could also try and pull that out.

We want to give her some enjoyment out of life and we don’t know how long a life she is going to have.

Wendy Harvey

Her full-time carer Wendy, 51, husband Mark, 45, a sports coach, their son Euan, 11, and Wendy’s children Amy Brook, 32, and Mark Brook, 27, are hoping to raise as much money as possible to fund the project, as well as covering the cost of activities for Paige.

Despite her health issues, the Sunningdale School pupil, from High Barnes, is determined to join in her favourite past times.

Wendy said: “We want to give her some enjoyment out of life and we don’t know how long a life she is going to have.

“She is very much a people person and looking at her it’s hard to think she’s so poorly.

Paige Harvey  pictured as a baby.

Paige Harvey pictured as a baby.

“She’s loves cuddles and kisses, but obviously to see her at bedtime it’s a different story and she’s had a lot of time off school last time when she had an operation.

“She loves going swimming and loves Mr Tumble

“There’s nothing we can say or do to stop her from what’s happening, but we want to make her happy.”

Amy added: “Despite all this Paige is full of personality. 
“She is a little poser who loves Spider-Man, dancing and karaoke.

Paige is helped to breath using specialist kit.

Paige is helped to breath using specialist kit.

“She does get enjoyment out of life and brings much happiness to others.

“Paige deserves the best of the time she has left and to experience as much as she can.

“It is a even more heartbreaking thought to not be able to provide that for her.

“We have managed to find something in Switzerland that may help but we still do not know if this is something we can pursue.

“Clearly we have hope that there is some medical avenue that can help but we would also need significantly more money if this happens.”

Anyone who would like to donate to Paige’s fund can visit https://goo.gl/1kd8Bh.

Paige Harvey loves to "kiss and cuddle" her family, says her mum Wendy.

Paige Harvey loves to "kiss and cuddle" her family, says her mum Wendy.

Mum Wendy Harvey, pictured with eldest daughter Amy Brook on her wedding day.

Mum Wendy Harvey, pictured with eldest daughter Amy Brook on her wedding day.