Family of girl (10) waiting for heart transplant delighted as £5k raised
The family of a young girl awaiting a life-saving heart transplant have said they are overwhelmed by the response to their fundraising appeal.
Aimee Brady, who was born with a heart defect, is a patient at the Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children.
The 10-year-old, from Magherafelt, has already undergone three surgeries.
She has been on the waiting list for a transplant since January this year.
Aimee, a P6 pupil at Spires Integrated Primary School in her home town, needs round-the-clock monitoring and medication from specialist doctors and nurses until she finds a suitable donor.
It means that Aimee and her family have to stay in hospital.
The Clark Clinic at the Royal has been home for the last 24 weeks and they will remain there until she has her transplant at Newcastle's specialist Freeman Hospital.
Aimee's father Steven (36) had to leave his job as a roof insulator so that he could spend more time with her while she was in the hospital. The family now face an impossible financial burden due to travel costs and household bills.
On Tuesday the couple, who also have a son Taylor (14), set up a GoFundMe page with a £3,000 target. By yesterday afternoon, they had already smashed that sum with more than £5,000 having been donated.
The fundraiser has also received the backing of Cliftonville FC. A supporter of the north Belfast Reds, Aimee once acted as a match mascot at Solitude.
Her favourite player is striker Joe Gormley, and back in May the player popped into the Royal to say a surprise hello.
Aimee's mum Valerie (36) said she never imagined her family's appeal would get such a huge response.
"It's unbelievable how well it has gone and we never imagined such a great reaction," she explained.
"People have been so kind and we're completely shocked and can't thank everyone enough for helping us reach our goal and more.
"It just shows how people can come together and support each other in a time of crisis.
"This money will help us a great deal and take a lot of pressure off, with one less thing to worry about while we wait for Aimee to have her surgery. It has also given her a real lift, too, when she sees how much people care."
Anyone who wants to donate can visit the 'Aimee's Wait For A New Heart' page on the GoFundMe website.