Generous donors have created a Christmas miracle for cerebral palsy sufferer Alice Bates by raising more than £6,000 in six days so she can have a special bath to ease her pain.
On Wednesday we published Alice’s appeal on www.spaldingtoday.co.uk and on our Facebook page, and once again in Thursday’s Spalding Guardian.
Within hours massive donations, including one of £2,000, started to roll in along with a host of smaller amounts from readers moved by Alice’s story.
Yesterday Alice’s Gofundme page stood at a massive £5,851 with the promise of £1,200 to come from Spalding Round Table.
Alice’s delighted mum, Charlotte, is already calling in the plumbers to put the necessary pipe work in a bedroom at the family’s Long Sutton home and it is hoped the bath will be installed by January.
“It’s incredible,” said Charlotte. “Alice will be getting her bath. We’re feeling overwhelmed at the moment at how quickly it has happened and we can’t thank people enough.”
The family broke the good news to Alice at the weekend.
“She was absolutely overjoyed,” said Charlotte. “She was so excited that she and her chair were shaking.”
Most people know Alice for her beautiful smile but her family see another face, one disfigured by pain, and this has become unbearable for them to watch.
Alice’s physiotherapist and orthopaedic surgeon recommended a bath to ease Alice’s muscle spasms but she needs a special one, with fast-draining water and sides that drop down, so she isn’t at risk when in the grip of an epileptic seizure
When the appeal was launched, Charlotte described how the family grieve as they watch Alice’s face “contort in agony”.
We revealed in last week’s story that Charlotte has suffered a dislocated disc in her upper spine as a result of tending to Alice’s needs.
The mum of six is in so much pain she’s now having to use a wheelchair to go outside.
Charlotte hopes surgery can cure the problem and will find out when she goes to a hospital appointment at Addenbrooke’s later this month.
Alice celebrated her 10th birthday in February and we joined her family and the wider community in trying to make 10 of the cerebral palsy sufferer’s dearest wishes come true by launching the Lincolnshire Free Press Ten for 10 Appeal.
Among those wishes were to have a therapy play lodge, to do her essential daily physio exercises, which was funded by generous Lincolnshire Free Press readers and others, and a trip to Disneyland Paris, funded through Tesco at Holbeach.
Recently Alice has achieved another two of her 10 wishes, sitting in the seat of a fast racing car, and visiting CBeebies Land with her dad, Andy, and eldest sister Abigail.
Abigail is giving up her bedroom so it can become Alice’s bathroom.
Alice has already promised her younger brother, Henry (9), that he can enjoy a dip when she’s not using the bath.
• The fundraising will remain open to cover the administration costs involved in the online site and to buy additional equipment to kit out Alice’s new bathroom. You can donate by clicking here