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Family’s fundraiser for Nyia

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By Euan Maxwell
Lockerbie and Lochmaben
Family’s fundraiser for Nyia

A LOCHMABEN family fighting tooth and nail for their seriously-ill toddler have launched a fundraiser to get her vital treatment.

Last December Arlene and Wullie Patterson were given the dreaded news that doctors had found a tumour on one-year-old Nyia’s brain stem.

She has experienced a host of health complications since before birth, having suffered a stroke in the womb which caused enlarged ventricles in her brain.

But Arlene said the discovery of a tumour “came as a bolt of lightning out of nowhere”.

The mum-of-four added: “It was heartbreaking. We knew Nyia had problems with the enlarged ventricles and stuff but there was nothing about her ever having a brain tumour, ever.

“We were gobsmacked – and it was Christmas, which is meant to be a magical time and we spent that whole Christmas not knowing if that was going to be our wee girl’s last. It’s been really stressful for both me and my husband.”

The diagnosis means that the tot – who celebrates her second birthday on Friday – is developmentally delayed and has struggles walking, speaking and breathing during the night, whilst also suffering from seizures, auditory and sight difficulties and problems controlling her body temperature.

“Despite all of this Nyia is a smiling happy wee girl. She’s a wee diamond,” Arlene said.

In January matters were made worse when consultants informed the parents there was “nothing they could do” because of where the tumour is situated.

Arlene added: “They’ve told us that if it grows the way it is growing, we should have her until she’s about a teenager, and if that tumour grows an extra milimetre from what it’s grown now then that’ll be it – Nyia will become very ill, very quickly.”

However, the couple has refused to give up on saving their daughter — and are now aiming to raise £10,000 to pay for a private consultant at Liverpool’s Walton Centre for Neurology to give them a second opinion and explore alternative treatments.

“You’ll never give up as a parent,” Arlene said. “You’ll always look for something else, so it’s disappointing they can’t do it, but that’s what their opinion is. The problem we’ve got is we don’t know, we could go and he would say the same. But he specialises in the condition and tumour that Nyia has – he’s very specialist in that and he’s known for doing things that other consultants wouldn’t do.

“The £10,000 wouldn’t cover the treatment, this is to have further assessments and look at what could be done.

“And if there isn’t anything, we need to make memories and make the best of the time that we have with her and make every moment count.

“I can’t thank my friend, Donna Gordon, enough because if it wasn’t for her this wouldn’t have happened. I wasn’t strong enough to do it on my own. She’s put the JustGiving page out there and it’s made me strong enough to say: I need help, can somebody help us?”

She also paid thanks to local organisations currently fundraising for Nyia including Tesco, the Armstrong Angel Trust and the Townhead Hotel.

£1835 has been raised online so far and donations can be made by visiting www.bit.ly/3jK9A97

Lockerbie and Lochmaben, Moffat

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