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  • Dominic Comins

Leilani's last ditch funding!

A sick girl desperately needing a life-changing heart operation has been helped by a charity to fund the final money she needs to have surgery.

Leilani Aisthorpe was born with a condition that only a doctor in the US city of Boston could operate on. But after several discussions managed to locate a consultant in London who will be able to perform the much-needed surgery.

With only 48 hours to raise the remaining £5,000 of the £40,000 target, Dominic Comins, chief executive of Red Eagle Foundation and trustee for Kent Wish Foundation, said the charities could help the family.

Dominic said "As a stakeholder of two small Kent based charities I am so happy to jointly fund the £5,000 gap required to ensure that Leilani’s operation could go ahead this month.

"Both charities are all about granting wishes to those most in need and this story really did melt our hearts. "We wish Leilani and her family all the best for the operation and a happy future."

Leilani has a condition called Aberrant Right Subclavian Artery (ARSA) which means the one-year-old has a fourth vessel branch out of the aortic arch which goes behind the windpipe and the oesophagus . She also suffers from a rare lung condition where three-quarters of her right lung is dead.

Due to her two conditions, Leilani struggles. She cannot lie flat or eat solid foods and must be fed every two hours, 24-hours-a-day but this leads to a lack of sleep and she can also have episodes where she stops breathing.

Mum Louise of Hathaway Court, Rochester, explained the first operation will re-route Leilani's artery which costs £40,000 as due to the complexities of her condition cannot be treated on the NHS.

Louise said: "Kent Wish have been amazing and the feeling of relief to know that we can meet the deadline and book her heart operation has made a bad night with Leilani seem a little less bad, we are going to get our little girl the help she needs. "I have been totally overwhelmed, I have spent most of the day in tears at the lovely words people have sent across, their love and their prayers. "The support for Leilani has been incredible, (my partner) Leon and I will forever be grateful for kindness that has come our way.

"It feels like a little weight has been lifted but it is not the end for us just yet, we still have all her aftercare to pay for and also fundraising for the lung operation, so our efforts will continue."


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