Portsmouth family has one year to raise cash so Willow can see

SMILES Willow Scotney-Williams and inset, when she was born prematurely. (113290-5)
SMILES Willow Scotney-Williams and inset, when she was born prematurely. (113290-5)
Winners and highly-commended staff at Queen Alexandra Hospital's Best People Awards 2017     Picture: Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust

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IT’S A miracle procedure that would allow a toddler to finally see the world for the first time.

But in order for Willow Scotney-Williams’ dream to come true, her family must raise £25,000 in 12 months.

Willow Scotney-Williams when she was born prematurely.

Willow Scotney-Williams when she was born prematurely.

Willow was born 10 weeks early at Queen Alexandra Hospital, Cosham.

She was diagnosed with a brain haemorrhage, followed by hydrocephalus – water on the brain.

As a result Willow, two, has cerebral palsy and is almost completely blind.

In the first six months of her life, the tot had to endure nine operations.

Her mother, Gemma Scotney, 29, of Portchester Road, North End, said it was a miracle she made it to her first birthday.

She said: ‘She appeared on the front page of The News on her first birthday – this was a day we thought would never come.

‘At one point we thought she may never survive.

‘She is a miracle and is a very determined little girl.

‘As Willow approaches the age of three, we have been given some new hope that could allow her to see for the first time.

‘We are hoping to take Willow to China next September for stem cell treatment.’

But for that to happen the family must raise £25,000.

‘This therapy could also improve the affects of cerebral palsy and give her the opportunity to lead a more fulfilled and independent life,’ added Gemma.

‘We really need help to raise this money.

‘We were given two possible dates for treatment, one being next March or next September.

‘We went for September to give us more time to raise the money.’

Now the family is appealing to News readers to get behind them.

Gemma, a community nurse, said: ‘We really need your help to give Willow the gift of sight, so please could people help.

‘At the moment she can’t see where her toys are and she gets frustrated when she can’t get to them.

‘She hasn’t seen her two brothers and it’s heartbreaking for us.’

So far the family have raised £5,000 through fundraising events, including selling wristbands, live band events, fun days and charity runs.

As previously reported in The News, Willow’s father Jamie Williams, 26, is taking part in this year’s Great South Run, on October 27.

For more information or to make a donation, see willowsvisionappeal.com