Disabled girl receives life-changing Christmas present thanks to donations

PUBLISHED: 18:00 30 December 2019

Daniel and Kirsty Andres with their daughter Edith and her new 'walker'.       Picture: MARK ATHERTON

Daniel and Kirsty Andres with their daughter Edith and her new 'walker'. Picture: MARK ATHERTON

Archant

A profoundly disabled girl has received a life-changing Christmas present thanks to the kindness of strangers.

Daniel and Kirsty Andres with their daughter Edith and her new 'walker'.       Picture: MARK ATHERTONDaniel and Kirsty Andres with their daughter Edith and her new 'walker'. Picture: MARK ATHERTON

Five-year-old Edith Andres was born with an incredibly rare brain condition, which has made her hypotonic, and means she suffers from developmental delay.

Edith cannot move unaided, speak, eat, or perform basic tasks easily.

At the end of June the Pill family launched a fundraising campaign to raise £14,000 to buy Edith an Innowalk.

The machine will allow Edith to exercise by moving her legs and arms for her, something her parents say may help her learn to walk, as well as keep tertiary conditions at bay, such as issues with her heart and lungs.

These could develop as a result of her immobility otherwise.

Nine weeks later the family had smashed their target raising £14,340 online as well as several donations from groups, including £250 from the Pill Owls choir.

Edith's mum Kirsty Andres, said the family was 'overwhelmed' by the response to the appeal and wanted to thank everyone who hap contributed 'from the bottom of their hearts'.

She said: "People have united and come out in force to support our girl and we are completely overwhelmed.

"The North Somerset community has given so generously and at times left us in a state of shock with their undeniable selflessness. We have truly felt the warmth and support of so many wonderful people. "

Just after completing their fundraising efforts Edith broke her leg and the family had to postpone their plans to have Edith use the potentially life-changing piece of kit.

After two months Edith was well enough to use the Innowalk which has finally arrived from Norway.

Edith has started to use the device every day and is already starting to see results.

Kirsty believes it will make a huge difference to Edith.

She said: "The health benefits of this machine are going to be life-changing for Edith.

"Weight bearing is so incredibly important for children like Edith.

"This machine will strengthen her bones and muscles, it will mould her hips and hopefully stop them from migrating further and keep her heart and lungs healthy.

"She uses the machine every day and we are building up the time she is in it each week and we have already noticed more obvious muscle tension in Edith's legs since she has been using it."

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