‘Amazing’ effort

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A proud dad has spoken of the “amazing efforts” by the community to raise more than £2,500 for a charity for his daughter.

Andrew Brown first thought that he would see “a few hundred pound” raised to support the Children’s Heart Unit Foundation (CHUF) charity that has helped save his daughter Lacey’s life.

Lacey suffers from a rare heart condition called Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome which means the organ cannot develop properly.

Andrew thought the only way he could help his daughter was to raise money and support the CHUF charity and arranged a football match – but did not expect to see some of the amazing efforts by the community.

The Tyne Terrace, Easington Colliery resident said: “Some people have taken the paper around and put it on the wall in shops and put a donation bucket there for people to help.

“Some have raised a few pounds but others have got in over £200 and I know a place in Stockton has raised £250.

“This is from people I have never met before in my life but they are wanting to help out in any way they can.”

Andrew, who works for Easington Parish Council, makes regular visits to the Freeman Hospital in Newcastle with Lacey for check ups.

The family are always being asked in the street on her well-being in the street and Andrew is overwhelmed by the response.

Andrew, 37, found out the Lacey had the condition when his partner, Donna, was pregnant.

Lacey then had to undergo open heart surgery at only eight days old and then again at eight months.

He added: “It is unbelievable to see that people are so caring and want to know how we are getting on and we would like to thank everyone.

“There is a lot of interest after the story came out and that has kept going and going.

“There is more money coming in all the time and hopefully we can get to the £3,000 mark but that is just a dream. This has really got me overwhelmed.”

Andrew now plans to hand over a cheque to the hospital in one of his visits before Christmas.

With money continuing to come in and people still making donations, Andrew is unsure what the final figure could be.

He said: “We have seen so much come in from different people, people I have never even met before.

“I hope this continues and we can really surprise the hospital but when I spoke to them before I know they are proud.”