Brave Lyla's salute for Captain Tom as seven-year-old girl battles brain tumour

A brave little girl who faces a daily battle with a brain tumour has given her own salute to another hero.

Sunday, 19th April 2020, 3:51 pm

Lyla O’Donovan, aged seven, has undergone life-threatening surgery, battled meningitis, been treated for hydrocephalus and had a shunt put into her head and that’s just in the last four years.

But she was still determined to go in front of the camera and make her own video for Captain Tom Moore, the 99-year-old war veteran who has raised more than £18million for the NHS.

Lyla is hoping lots of people will follow share her video message to Captain Tom and make it a massive UK-wide message of love for the war veteran in time for his 100th birthday on April 30.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Lyla O’Donovan, who has given her own salute to Captain Tom Moore.

Captain Tom had planned to raise £1,000 for the NHS Charities Together cause by completing 100 laps of his garden before he reaches 100.

But his amazing efforts captured the hearts of people across the country, including Lyla and her family. He has so far raised more than £25million and completed the challenge well before his big day.

Lyla’s dad Paul O’Donovan, who comes from Hartlepool, said: “We have all been watching him and just have so much respect for the man

“My kids have been brought up in the military so they have that connection. We couldn’t send a card so Lyla said ‘I’ll send him a video dad’.

Lyla O’Donovan with her dad Paul.

And Lyla then created her own salute to a fellow hero even though she has suffered from ill health herself in the last few days.

Paul said: “She had a bad seizure the other night and has not been sleeping very well with headaches and feeling dizzy.”

Thankfully, Lyla is’starting to pick back up now’, said Paul.

Paul, 35, wife Kirsty, 34, who now live in Ushaw Moor, near Durham City, and their family are supporting the Brain Tumour Research charity to raise awareness of the biggest cancer killer of children and adults under 40.

War veteran Captain Tom Moore after he achieved his goal of 100 laps of his garden. Photo: Joe Giddens/PA Wire.

Lyla was diagnosed with a brain tumour in 2016 when she was just three.

She was recently due to undergo her 10th operation on her brain at the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle but it had to be cancelled. Paul said the coronavirus would kill his daughter if she were to contract it.

But Lyla has since fought back during the lockdown to share a message of love for Captain Tom.

You can follow Lyla and her story, and share the video, by visiting the Lyla’s brain tumour journey page on Facebook.

A message from the Editor:

Thank you for reading this story on our website. While I have your attention, I also have an important request to make of you.

In order for us to continue to provide high quality and trusted local news on this free-to-read site, I am asking you to also please purchase a copy of our newspaper.

Our journalists are highly trained and our content is independently regulated by IPSO to some of the most rigorous standards in the world. But being your eyes and ears comes at a price. So we need your support more than ever to buy our newspapers during this crisis.

With the coronavirus lockdown having a major impact on many of our local valued advertisers - and consequently the advertising that we receive - we are more reliant than ever on you helping us to provide you with news and information by buying a copy of our newspaper.

Thank you