The parents of a battling Hartlepool baby say they’re overwhelmed by the support they’ve received from the people of the town.
Little Connie Young is currently awaiting a second operation after being diagnosed with a rare bowel condition.
The five-month-old was diagnosed with Hirschsprung’s disease, which affects just one in 5,000 babies, after she became ill just 24 hours after her birth. After spending six-and-a-half weeks in hospital, her parents Helen Dawson and David Young are keen to give something back to the doctors and nurses who cared for her – and them – along the way.
On Saturday, they held a party in their street, Celandine Gardens, on the Bishop Cuthbert estate, to raise funds for the Sick Children’s Trust and Ward 9 at Newcastle’s Royal Victoria Infirmary.
Neighbours joined them for an afternoon of games, raffles, stalls, and a barbecue.
Helen, 31, said: “The amount of people who turned up was just amazing. We never expected this kind of response.
“We’ve raised about £500 for the hospital and we haven’t even finished counting all the money yet.
“Hartlepool Fire even came along with an engine so the kids could have a go and it was just a brilliant day, we can’t believe how supportive everyone has been.”
She added: “Connie is sometimes a bit unsociable but she was great at the party.
“She’s doing really well at the minute and we’re just waiting for the date of her next operation, we’re hoping it’s going to be before Christmas, but for now we’re just back and forward from the hospital so they can check on her.
“We want to raise awareness of the condition that Connie has, but also to thank the staff at the hospital who have looked after us so well.
“We stayed at Crawford House while she was in hospital, and it was like our home. The Sick Children’s Trust runs it and we want to help them help other parents.”