TINY Poppy Bull has battled blood transfusions, more than 10 operations and spent the first nine months of her life in hospital.
Three-year-old Poppy, from Gosport, has had most of her small intestine removed due to sepsis, leaving her with small bowel syndrome and requiring TPN, meaning she is fed nutrition directly into her veins.
Her hardship – and the beaming smile on her face that shows she won’t give up – has inspired a fundraiser to take on a skydive for her cause.
Her father, 36-year-old Vincent Bull, said his youngest daughter, one of eight siblings, is an ‘absolute hero’.
‘You would never know that she’s in pain because she’s always smiling,’ he said.
‘She is so tough it’s unbelievable.
‘Poppy goes through a lot of blood transfusions, but is doing the best she can in a really difficult situation.’
At the moment, Poppy is waiting for bowel and liver transplants, which will be performed at Kings College Hospital in London.
‘We’ve already been up there quite a bit,’ her father said.
‘Every three months we pop up there for a checkup – Poppy gets ill quite often because her immune system is very weak.’
Vincent, a timber salesman, and his partner Lisa Fletcher are exceptionally proud of their brave little girl.
Vincent said: ‘I think a lot of children and even most adults would struggle in her situation.
‘But Poppy just pulls her socks up and gets on with her life, we could all learn a lot from her.’
One of Vincent’s colleagues from Sydenhams Timber Centre in Wickham, 39-year-old Selina Armitage from Waterlooville, will be doing a skydive next June to raise money for the Ray of Sunshine Ward at Kings College.
Selina said: ‘Poppy has been in and out of hospital for her whole life, but has done really well.
‘To hear about what she’s been going through is so heartbreaking, but at the same time is really inspirational.
‘If she can battle through as much pain as she’s going through – without complaint – then there’s no reason why I can’t face my fears and jump from a plane to support her.’
To donate, go to justgiving.com/fundraising/Selina-armitage.