Search

Baby with rare illnes treated in France

PUBLISHED: 18:16 24 June 2008 | UPDATED: 09:00 13 July 2010

THE baby daughter of Cromer's football captain headed to France this week for life-saving surgery.

Four days before her first birthday Ella-Grace Honeyman was diagnosed with a rare brain condition, and her parents were told she would need surgery as quickly as possible.

THE baby daughter of Cromer's football captain headed to France this week for life-saving surgery.

Four days before her first birthday Ella-Grace Honeyman was diagnosed with a rare brain condition, and her parents were told she would need surgery as quickly as possible.

Now dad Ryan - a Cromer player for five seasons - and mum Laura are taking her to see the French surgeon who developed a procedure aimed at curing a brain vein malformation.

Although the operation is available on the NHS the family have decided to pay out up to £50,000 to have it done by the expert.

The family is seeking to hold fund-raising events through her grand-father's friends at the Sole and Heel pub at Rackheath, near Norwich.

And football club manager Chris Wigger confirmed the club was hoping to hold a charity football match involving Norwich City veterans in August or September.

“The players are rallying round and Ella-Grace is in our thoughts,” said Mr Wigger, who has known Ryan since childhood, and described him as “the perfect dad”.

Ella-Grace, who lives in Norwich, has Vein of Galen malformation, a condition which means the blood vessels in her brain are not doing their job properly.

Her grandfather, Ian Honeyman, explained: “You have got an artery which carries blood to the brain and a vein that drains blood away. The artery has become connected to the vein by some capillaries. This makes it difficult for the brain to get fluid away, so she has fluid on the brain.”

Mum Laura first became concerned about her daughter last November when she noticed a swollen vein in her head. She said: “It's so rare the doctors didn't know what to look out for. It was getting worse, so I took her back to the doctors and she was referred to the hospital. The paediatricians hadn't seen anything like it before.”

Ella-Grace, who has a three-year-old sister, Niamh, was diagnosed with the disorder a few weeks ago. Without surgery, she could suffer brain damage and organ failure.

Doctors need to put a catheter into an artery in her groin, go past her heart and up to her brain. They will then squirt sterile glue into the capillaries to seal them and stop them transporting blood from the vein to the artery.

Although the surgery is available on the NHS, the little girl's parents, Laura, 29, and dad Ryan, 30, have decided to send her to France to be treated by the surgeon who developed the procedure. Each treatment is expected to cost about £15,000, and Ella-Grace could need three.

There could also be other costs to cover the extra equipment needed.


If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the North Norfolk News. Click the link in the orange box above for details.

Become a supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Latest from the North Norfolk News