an operation to help a three-year-old girl to see properly for the first time could happen six months earlier than planned.
The News has been backing the fundraising campaign of parents Jamie Williams, 26, and Gemma Scotney, 29.
They need to raise £25,000 so their daughter Willow, three, can have stem cell surgery in China to help her see.
And since Willow’s story has been featured in the paper, readers have come forward to help.
Gemma, of Deerhurst Crescent, Paulsgrove, said: ‘The fundraising is going really well.
‘We are now on £16,500 and awaiting money to come in from a charity football match held for Willow.
‘That, along with money raised from a few other events, will bring us up to £22,000.
‘If we can raise the remaining £3,000 and sort out Willow’s insurance, then she could be having the operation as soon as March or April next year, instead of September.
‘To take her earlier would be good and it’s thanks to people’s donations that we’ve come this far.
‘We’re so grateful and thankful to everyone that has been helping us.’
The Portsdown Shortmat Bowls Club, in Portsmouth, raised £1,131.60 through a charity tournament.
Treasurer Richard Allen said: ‘We read about Willow’s story in the paper and thought we should help.
‘Each year we hold a charity match, and we decided the proceeds to that will go to the appeal.
‘It was a great event and we’re glad to have helped the family out.’
Willow was born 10 weeks prematurely and diagnosed with a brain haemorrhage and hydrocephalus – water on the brain – shortly afterwards.
She had nine operations and spent the ﬁrst six months of her life in hospital.
Willow is almost completely blind and also suffers from cerebral palsy.
Her operation is due to take place on September 5.
For more information, visit willowsvisionappeal.com.