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.
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.
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’.
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.
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.