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Freya's Friends festive fundraiser a great success

Thatcham family raise money for hospital that cared for relative after car crash

John Herring

Reporter:

John Herring

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01635 886633

Freya's Friends festive fundraiser a great success

A THATCHAM family wanting to repay doctors and nurses who cared for their young niece have raised more than £1,500.

Freya Deacon was 11-years-old when she was involved in a car accident while on holiday with her father in Rhodes, earlier this year.

Freya was paralysed down the right side of her body and flown to a children’s hospital in Athens, where she was put in an induced coma for three weeks.

She was then airlifted back to Britain to the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford, where she spent her 12th birthday.

Her aunt, Karen de Monte, said that the prognosis in Greece was that her niece, who she described as creative and girly who loves owls, would not walk or talk again.

But Freya has defied the odds with help from NHS staff and is now in rehabilitation at the Children’s Trust Hospital in Tadworth, Surrey.

Mrs de Monte said that the nursing staff had been fantastic with Freya and had made her feel very special on her birthday.

So impressed with Freya’s progress and the kindess of medical staff, Mrs de Monte began thinking about how to repay them.

“How do you thank someone enough? The NHS do need more funds... how about give them something they really need and that’s money?,” she told the Newbury Weekly News.

“Funding means they can give her the physiotherapy. What they have given her has been enough to get her up and going again. Sadly the funding isn’t there.”

Determined to help those who had helped her niece, Mrs de Monte organised a Christmas bazaar at the Kennet Leisure Centre on Sunday.

Donations and people flooded in, including young Lizzie and Tom Read who raised £5 at a toy sale in their garage and mothers at Mrs de Monte’s creche who donated a cheque to the cause.

Kennet Leisure Centre donated a year’s membership for the raffle and a bouncy castle was donated by Bouncy Kingdom.

An overwhelmed Mrs de Monte said: “It makes me feel so good that complete strangers, as well as family and friends, are willing to do so much. Obviously we are extremely grateful.

“To all the people who have helped I really can’t thank you enough no matter how big or small it’s just been fantastic. Hopefully I can repay them one day.”

On the hospital staff who cared for Freya she said: “I know it’s their job but words can’t express how grateful we are. It takes a very special kind of person to approach what they experience every day. They always have a smile on their face and make the patient feel they are number one.”

The bazaar raised £1,574, more than the £1,000 Mrs de Monte said she would have been happy with.

She added that she was considering setting up a Freya’s Friends group to continue raising funds.

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