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Mother’s thanks after donations pour in

PUBLISHED: 10:42 31 January 2011

Louise Ferguson with her daughter Skye (3). Youngster Skye is in need of heart surgery, but her mother is unable to afford travel costs to London for the operation.

Louise Ferguson with her daughter Skye (3). Youngster Skye is in need of heart surgery, but her mother is unable to afford travel costs to London for the operation.

Archant © 2011

A DESPERATE mum has said a massive “thank you” to the many strangers who have rallied round to help her little girl get the surgery she needs.

Hundreds of pounds in pledges, cheques and offers of lifts to London have poured in since the Mercury reported that Louise Ferguson was denied funding to take her seriously ill daughter to Great Ormond Street Hospital in London.

But this week, following her anger and disappointment, she said she was “overwhelmed and amazed” by the generosity of readers lining up to support her.

Among those moved by her plight were a pensioner who has offered £300, another mum whose daughter has undergone similar heart surgery to that needed by Skye, Haven Rotary Club has pledged to fund the travel costs and Swift Taxis also hoped they could help.

“It’s just amazing,” Ms Ferguson said. “I never knew there were so many nice people out there. I feel like a huge burden has been lifted and I don’t need to worry any more. It’s just really lovely; in fact I can’t quite believe it.”

Last week, the 25-year-old revealed she was too poor to take three-year-old Skye to Great Ormond Street Hospital where surgeons there want to operate to close a growing hole in her heart.

Skye needs the operation before she starts school in September and has already travelled to London once to have the operation which couldn’t go ahead because she was too ill.

Ms Ferguson still owes a friend for the last trip and if the hospital were to call saying they were ready for Skye, she would not be able to pay for another.

This week she said: “Skye is quite well now so I’m going to give the hospital a call to see if they can take her.”

Ms Ferguson has had some direct approaches, notably from her daughter’s nursery at Park Play Group and her partner’s mother who belongs to a church and has rallied members there.

Skye was born nine weeks early and spent her first three months in special care. What were two small holes have merged to form one which is now 12mm across. Her problems are likely to escalate as she gets older unless she has the operation, which can hopefully now go ahead, thanks to readers.

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