Fundraising to buy specialist vest for baby Abbie after months in Leeds hospital

Laura and David Venner with their daughter Abbie.
Laura and David Venner with their daughter Abbie.
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Little Abbie Venner has spent the majority of her 14 months in hospital.

After five major operations, she’s now back home – but the cystic fibrosis (CF) sufferer faces a constant battle against infection.

Now a fundraising appeal has been launched to buy the tot an £8,000 specialist vest which her parents hope will improve her condition.

Her mum Laura said: “This will make her life a lot easier and will make our lives a bit easier.

“We just want every opportunity available to her. Other parents of children with CF swear by them.”

As well as CF, Abbie was born with a perforated, blocked bowel which led to a lengthy hospital stay, including seven weeks in neonatal intensive care at Leeds Children’s Hospital.

The tot, from Drighlington, near Leeds, suffered from complications and struggled to feed normally, which meant she was not gaining weight.

She is now fed through a tube at night and since October she has been back home, but needs daily physiotherapy exercises to help relieve the sticky secretions on her chest caused by the CF.

These leave her struggling to breathe and she can develop infections, which leave her needing strong antibiotics and more hospital treatment.

Now David and his wife Laura are fundraising for an £8,000 physiotherapy vest which is not available on the NHS. Abbie will be able to use it from the age of two.

David said: “This helps with compressing Abbie’s chest back and forth and relieves the thick sticky mucus.”

Her mum added: “At the moment we have to lie her down to pat her. Trying to do it is difficult and she does nothing but scream.”

Mrs Venner’s friend Karen Gibson has organised a fundraising event on April 17 at the Old White Hart in Beeston, with entertainment from two singers and appearances from two spiritual mediums, including Dean James Fox, who has appeared on the Channel 4 programme Come Dine With Me. There will also be a disco, raffle and buffet, with tickets for the night costing £10 in advance or £12 on the door. Call 07543 579310.

Donate via or text VEST71 followed by the amount to 70070. eg VEST71 £10.

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