A Dundee family whose terminally ill baby has spent most of her life in hospital are overjoyed that they can start to make plans to bring her home.
Thanks to the generosity of Dundonians an incredible fundraising effort has seen the family of six-month old Willow raise enough money in just a week to allow her to come home.
‘Over the moon’
Willow’s mum, Nicola Duncan, 35, said the family were “over the moon”.
She said: “It’s amazing to think that, thanks to family, friends and complete strangers who have all donated, we can start to plan to bring Willow home.”
Willow’s family told the story of her short life last week. At the same time a fundraising page was set up to pay for renovations to the family home in Linlathen to make it suitable for the tiny tot.
Willow was welcomed into the world right on time last November following a straightforward birth.
Willow stopped breathing
But only two days later it became clear that something was wrong with their new baby girl when she stopped breathing and was rushed into intensive care.
Since then, the tiny tot has spent all but one-and-a-half weeks of her short life in hospital – both in Edinburgh and in the high care dependency unit at Ninewells.
In the months since, while no official diagnosis has been confirmed, Nicola and Peter have been told her condition is terminal.
In order for her to be allowed home full time to her family they are having to make changes to their home to accommodate all the equipment they need to keep her alive.
The family live in a three-bedroomed home with their three boys and various other changes need to be made to make it suitable for them all.
Dad saved her life
On the one occasion that Willow has been allowed home so far her life had to be saved by her dad who gave CPR when she stopped breathing.
Nicola said: “It has been incredible. We have already raised almost £5,000. There are also other fundraising initiatives been started. This means we can actually start to begin to plan to bring Willow home.”
“That’s all I ever wanted – to raise enough money to make changes in the house to accommodate Willow.”
“We are meeting with Willow’s consultant to find out more about what happens next.
“It would be amazing to think that we can actually start to make plans to bring her home.
“We are all absolutely delighted. The boys are over the moon – this has all happened so quickly and we are so very grateful to everyone who has donated already and to everyone who is organising sponsored events and other fundraisers.”
Willow is on constant oxygen in hospital and is also fed through a feeding tube.
She is completely blind and her parents have been told, if she gets through the current stage of her battle, she will be unable to walk and confined to a wheelchair.
Four weeks ago, the hospital called Nicola and Peter in to say their final goodbyes to their daughter – but Willow fought back to survive on that occasion.
Nicola said the family also hoped to be able to put some money aside in a fund for Willow’s funeral when it comes but if there is any money left over they want to donate that to neo-natal at Ninewells as a thank you for every they have done for the family.
To donate to the cause, click here