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Mum's hopes for little Ella Grace

PUBLISHED: 07:00 08 February 2010 | UPDATED: 07:59 02 July 2010

Ella Grace Honeyman pictured with her mother Laura

Ella Grace Honeyman pictured with her mother Laura

Victoria Leggett

The mother of a brave Norfolk youngster who regularly needs high-risk operations spoke of her hope that her daughter could be successfully treated while she is still young because she is starting to show signs of fear as each one approaches.

The mother of a brave Norfolk youngster who regularly needs high-risk operations spoke of her hope that her daughter could be successfully treated while she is still young because she is starting to show signs of fear as each one approaches.

Ella-Grace Honeyman has undergone four life-saving surgeries and countless hospital tests since being diagnosed with the rare brain condition vein of Galen malformation.

The little girl, of Hevingham, near Aylsham, was just 13 months when she had her first operation to seal leaking blood vessels and has rarely shown signs of understanding what was happening to her.

But now, four months off her third birthday and with the fifth surgery due to take place on March 3, her mum Laura said Ella-Grace was becoming more aware.

She said: "She knows, she remembers. As soon as we get to the hospital, she changes. As soon as the nurse comes near her, she says 'ouch', before they even touch her."

Doctors cannot predict how many more operations Ella-Grace will need.

Her family have chosen to send her abroad for the treatment to ensure she is seen by the most experienced surgeons and have to raise more than £40,000 each time.

Mrs Honeyman said that, although they needed time between operations to find the money, she was also keen to get them over with while her daughter was still young. She said: "I want to get this done before she's older. I don't want it to become something that is implanted in her memory."

A surgery last November was hastily arranged when the girl's health deteriorated but this time hospital tests have shown Ella-Grace, who has an elder sister Niamh, is progressing well.

"I don't feel as desperate as I did before - I thought I was going to lose her," said her mum. "Every time she goes in it's a worry, but I don't feel as frightened because she's stable.

"We have been able to go out and enjoy ourselves rather than being imprisoned in our house."

Overwhelming support for the family in recent months has ensured they have enough money to cover this operation but their army of fundraisers are continuing to work towards the next treatment.

On February 27, Sprowston Community High School, in Norwich, will host a concert by the Pyramid Company Singers in aid of Ella-Grace, beginning at 7.30pm. Tickets are £8, £5 concessions, and are available from the school office on 01603 485266.

Ü To give to the Ella Grace fund, contact Steve Read on 07949 871013 or 01603 722294 or visit www. lifeforellagracefund.co.uk. Cheques payable to The Ella Grace Fund can be sent to Mr Read at 77 Salhouse Road, Rackheath, Norwich NR13 6PD.

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