Success of appeal for sick Leeds tot Abbie

Abbie Venner
Abbie Venner
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The parents of a poorly tot say they are “overwhelmed” after fundraising for a specialist therapeutic vest for her hit its target in five months.

Abbie Venner has spent months in hospital in Leeds and has undergone five major operations.

The 17-month-old has cystic fibrosis (CF) and other major health problems, and her mum Laura and dad David are delighted that the £8,000 target has been reached.

“We’ve done it a lot sooner than we expected,” David said.

“We would like to personally thank everyone who has donated anything or given up any time to help at any of the fundraising events.”

Abbie, from Drighlington, near Leeds, 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 suffered from complications and struggled to feed normally, which meant she had to be fed through a tube.

Since October she has been back home, but needs daily physiotherapy to help relieve the sticky secretions on her chest caused by the CF.

These leave her struggling to breathe and she picks up lots of coughs and colds.

Her dad said she had suffered a lot from respiratory infections: “She’s been full of cold, but she’s not had any admissions to hospital. The majority of the time she’s developing really well and has been climbing stairs, and climbing up the sofa.”

The physiotherapy vest, which Abbie will be able to use from the age of two, helps by compressing her chest back and forth to relieve the thick sticky mucus she suffers from.

The couple now have decided to carry on fundraising, with extra money going to the Cystic Fibrosis Trust and the Childrens CF ward at LGI.

“Apart from the fundraising it is also good to know that the appeal is raising general awareness for cystic fibrosis,” David added.

An array of fundraising fun supporting the appeal – an event at the The Old White Hart in Beeston collected £623, more than £2,000 was raised at a fun day at the Drighlington Tempest Constitutional Club and £450 at a similar event at The Six Acres Restaurant in the village.

Simon Daymond, owner of Square Peg Travel in Leeds, donated £1,000 while £800 was raised by staff at Reliance Engineering who took part in The Great North Swim.

The next event is a concert by The Rothwell Temperance Brass Band at St Paul’s Church in Drighlington on November 14. Donate via or text VEST71 followed by the amount to 70070. eg VEST71 £10.

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