MORE than £2,000 raised by staff at a chartered accountancy firm to help a colleague’s daughter travel to America for surgery has been donated to a Hartlepool charity after the operation was able to be carried out on the NHS.
When staff at Waltons Clark Whitehill heard that Georgia Chapman would be unable to have the Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy surgery she needed in the UK, they started fundraising.
But the operation later became available on the NHS and £2,015 raised to send Georgia to the US has been donated to Hartlepool Special Needs Support Group.
Georgia, now eight, has cerebral palsy, which caused the muscles in her legs to be so tight she walked on her toes, affecting the development of her muscles and tendons.
The trip to the US and the operation on the nerves near the end of her spinal cord, allowing the muscles to relax, would have cost £60,000.
But as colleagues of Georgia’s mother, Tracy Chapman, worked away organising fundraising events such as quizzes, baking and walks, a UK-based surgeon travelled to the US to learn how to conduct the operation, bringing that treatment back to the UK.
This meant that Georgia was able to have the operation in April this year on the NHS and is now walking very well and no longer needs to use her wheelchair.
Tracy, who is assistant tax manager at Hartlepool-based Waltons Clark Whitehill, and lives in Ingleby Barwick, said: “Everyone was so keen to help out that even before we were given the go-ahead to travel to the US for the operation they started fundraising, because they realised that £60,000 was a big sum for us to pull together.
“I can’t thank everyone enough for what they did and it is great that this money can now go to support other people with cerebral palsy through the work of Hartlepool Special Needs Support Group.”