Several fundraising initiatives are being organised in Derry to help a local woman’s family as her daughter prepares to undergo a major operation.
Little Ashleigh Taylor (12) suffers from a rare genetic kidney defect, and will have both kidneys removed in an operation in England over the coming weeks, while in the long term it is hoped a suitable donor will be found.
Ashleigh’s family live in Coalville in Leicestershire and parents Lee and Tanya, who comes from Derry, described the support from local people here as “amazing”.
Ashleigh’s grandmother in Derry, Pauline Doherty, and Pauline’s brothers Kevin, Paul, Cathal, Terry and Michael are helping co-ordinate the fundraising drive to raise money for a reliable car to facilitate vital frequent trips to and from the hospital, which is a 50-mile round trip from Ashleigh’s family home.
Speaking about the operation, Tanya Taylor said: “We are being strong for Ashleigh, she’s very nervous about it and because we are still waiting for a date from the surgeon she’s very anxious. She was due to have both kidneys removed in August, but we’re still awaiting for the date.”
Little Ashleigh has Focal Segmental Glomerulosclerosis (FSGS), a condition her dad was also born with, and the operation involves a bilateral nephrectomy (removing both kidneys).
Ashleigh will afterwards be put on temporary haemo dialysis which will be done at the hospital three to four times a week for around four hours. Once her body has healed from surgery she will have dialysis at home five to seven nights a week for around 10 to 12 hours at a time.
Ashleigh has to have regular hormone injections at present and has IV iron infusion done at the hospital.
Praising the work of their local renal nurse, Tanya said needed reliable transport for the post-operation regular hospital visits, and “not have the added worry of the car breaking down on the way.”
“If she misses a dialysis session she could be very poorly. We have recently been introduced to a youth service at the hospital. This is something Ashleigh would love to attend but we worry about the car having issues as it’s quite old.”
Tanya added: “All the support from Derry is amazing, my family and friends over there are brilliant, Ashleigh loves it over there - she’s already said she’s moving there once she’s had her transplant - and to see how everyone is behind us and wants to help just shows why Derry will always be my home, it’s a big city but you’re never alone.”
Ashleigh’s grandmother described her a lovable “wee character.”
She said: “We are hoping to raise around £5,000 to get them a decent car. They need a car and they don’t get the DLA or any support like that.”
A charity night is currently being organised, along with several bag packs at local stores and keep fit initiatives are also being arranged. Anyone who can help with the fundraising drive is asked to e-mail Pauline at: firstname.lastname@example.org
An ‘Ashleigh Taylor Kidney Appeal’ Go Fund Me page has been set up to donate to: www.gofundme.com/2cfprn8