FRIENDS gathered to say farewell to Grace Windram last night ahead of a life-changing operation in America which will open up a ‘whole new world’ for the five year-old.
The little girl, who has cerebral palsy, will fly to St Louis, Missouri, on Saturday to undergo a £50,000 operation, which is expected to enable her to walk for the first time in her life.
The send-off party at the family’s Kingsthorpe home was a final thank you to family and friends who have helped to raise the thousands of pounds needed for the procedure and the trip.
Helen, her husband Gavin and their second daughter Amelia, will accompany Grace on the five-week trip.
Helen said: “We wanted to give everybody who has been supporting us the chance to say goodbye to Grace before we go but also so we could say thank you for the support. Our moods at the moment are swinging from being very excited to being very anxious.
“For months the anticipation has built up and now the reality for going is here.
“It will be hard to hand over your child to the doctors and trust that it will go well but we trust that God will look after her.
“The doctors are experts and we know we have made the right decision.
“This is a life-changing operation and we can’t put into words how grateful we are for the generosity of everyone who has helped us.
“We can’t get our heads around how much more Grace will be able to do, she’s really quite restricted at the moment.
“It will be a whole new world for her, and for the family.”
The family have put together a surprise gift box filled with small toys and presents for Grace to open when she wakes up from the operation, which will leave her unable to sit up for three days.
Helen added: “We want to make this as positive an experience for Grace as possible.”
The family will continue to fund-raise to cover the cost of ongoing physiotherapy, at a cost of up to £15,000 a year.
Grace will undergo the operation on Friday, January 27.
Updates will be posted to her website www.gracesfund.org