Six-year-old Oona Eudora Dooks was born with a complex neurological condition and unable to move below the neck. In intensive care for ten weeks, she was tube fed and her parents were told she would be unable to walk, talk, eat or even ‘form thoughts’.
Now aged six, Oona attends a mainstream school, loves singing, playing and whizzing around in her little red wheelchair. She’s even modelled for M&S and appeared in CBeebies programme, Molly and Mack.
However, her dearest wish is to be able to walk. Parents Ellie, 41, and Christopher, 49, who are both community arts worker have fundraised to buy splints which help her do this, but they cost £2,000 per pair and need to be replaced approximately once a year as Oona grows. They also hope to adapt their home so that Oona can open and close doors by herself and shower independently, as well as raising funds for hydrotherapy and a special lycra suit which will help Oona walk unaided.
“Friends, family and supporters have been very generous. Chris put out a music track he wrote and we did quite well with sales from that. But Oona’s expenses are ongoing and it is very difficult to fundraise with all the COVID-19 restrictions in place.
“We now have enough for Oona’s second pair of splints which is a huge relief – they make such a difference to her balance and what she is able to do. We’re hoping to go to London ASAP to get them fitted in case COVID-19 makes travel more difficult again.
“Oona’s progress has been amazing, especially when you compare it to the terrible prognosis we were given when she was born. She’s a very happy and determined little girl. All she wants is to live as normal a life as possible, and we want to do everything in our power to help her do that.”
Tree of Hope CEO Gill Gibb said:
“We’re really pleased to be supporting the Dooks family in their fundraising efforts for Oona and wish them all the best.”
To donate to Oona’s fundraising appeal, visit https://www.treeofhope.org.uk/one-small-step-oona/