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Family of disabled Margate girl launch fundraiser for wheelchair accessible van

The family of a girl born with her cord wrapped around her neck leaving her disabled has launched a fundraising campaign to help make her life easier.

Maddison Heskett, from Margate, says her daughter Lottie, seven, is in chronic pain, unable to walk and at times housebound due to difficulties manoeuvring her in and out of the car.

Margate seven-year-old Lottie is unable to walk
Margate seven-year-old Lottie is unable to walk

Lottie, who is due to have life-changing surgery at the Evelina Hospital, was recently given a power chair to help her get around, but Miss Heskett says it is impossible to get it into their Ford Kuga.

The family has now set up The Little Lottie Trust to help raise funds to buy a wheelchair accessible van.

"After being advised by Lottie’s surgeon that this is the most practical and safest way for her to travel, we've decided to set up this fundraiser as a way to raise some if not all of the funds to contribute towards it," she said.

"If this is successful, Lottie will be able to travel comfortably to and from her regular appointments in London without stops, travel safely in her secure, custom power chair, and it will avoid causing her more pain and discomfort.

"It will genuinely make life easier for Lottie."

Maddison Heskett with daughter Lottie
Maddison Heskett with daughter Lottie

Ms Heskett says her daughter was born "blue and unresponsive" in March 2014 at the QEQM Hospital in Margate with her umbilical cord wrapped tightly over her head and around her neck.

According to the mum, this caused significant brain damage although she says Lottie's condition remains undiagnosed.

"Unfortunately because Lottie doesn’t have a diagnosis, she easily gets lost in the hospital system," said Miss Heskett.

"Her condition is similar to cerebral palsy and the disability affects her in many different, complex ways, but most of all Lottie is immobile.

"Lottie is finally due to have major, bilateral hip surgery around Christmas time, to re-align her two dislocated hips, as well as as other procedures.

Lottie, seven, has an undiagnosed disability
Lottie, seven, has an undiagnosed disability

"After waiting nearly four-and-a-half years for this operation to be done at Evelina Children’s hospital, we are really hoping this will be life changing for her.

"Although this will help massively with Lottie’s pain and discomfort, we’ve been told that this operation is strictly not to help her walk, but to make life and general care easier for us all.

"It seems as if Lottie will need to undergo surgery up to four times in the coming months, to break and reshape her femur bones and pelvis."

Ms Heskett says if they are able to raise enough money and exceed what is raised for the wheelchair accessible van, they may be able to get a private paediatric orthopaedic to carry out the surgery sooner.

"It has been a long seven years, and although I have felt like giving up, I will never stop fighting for my daughter," said Ms Heskett.

"It’s so frustrating when people ask me what is wrong with her and I can’t tell them.

"Lottie has asked me herself what is wrong with her legs, and I have no answers for her. It’s heartbreaking."

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