Keri’s amazing chance to see

Blind girl Keri Kelly with her mum Tracey.  (1608JB70)(Joe Boland)
Blind girl Keri Kelly with her mum Tracey. (1608JB70)(Joe Boland)

A blind Buncrana schoolgirl who needed to raise E30,000 for a revolutionary treatment has had her prayers answered as generous people from Donegal have clubbed together to help fulfil her wish to see her mother’s face.

Nine-year-old Scoil Isogain student Keri Kelly, who has been blind since birth, was given hope by doctors using ground-breaking stem-cell treatment in China that they be able to restore her sight.

Determined to do everything within her power to help her daughter, Keri’s mum Tracey started a campaign in June to help raise the life changing money to give Keri the chance to see.

Now just a few weeks later, the Keri Kelly Appeal has E45,000 siting in its account and Keri is booked to fly to China for her procedure on October 7th, where she will stay with her mum for 24 days.

Speaking to the ‘Journal’ yesterday, Tracey said she is overwhelmed with how generous people have been to Keri.

“I can’t believe we’ve raised the money so fast. I never thought we would have the full amount so soon. It’s amazing. People have been so generous and we are very grateful to everyone who donated money to the cause.

“We had pencilled in next August as Keri’s procedure date when we started the campaign in the hope that we would have the money, and I still can’t believe it has happened so quickly. I honestly can’t believe how kind and care people have been to us, everyone got behind us and supported us.”

Tracey maintains Keri, who she says has very quickly got used to having her photo, taken is oblivious to the whole saga, but she is becoming anxious about the impending trip.

“I’m really really scared about travelling to China, it will be such a change for us as it will be a completely different culture and way of life, but I keep telling myself this is for Keri.

“I have to leave my other daughter, Keri’s younger sister, behind me in Buncrana, so hopefully it will be worth it. All I hope is that the whole procedure works out.”

Tracey revealed though doctors in China cannot guarantee Keri will get her sight back from the procedure, there is no risk involved in the treatment.

“It is very nerve wrecking but either the treatment will work or it won’t it isn’t risky at all, that was important to me to be sure of that first, had there be a chance something could go wrong I would have definitely thought twice about it.”

People throughout Buncrana and Inishowen have been working hard to find every spare cent for Keri’s fund, including charity football matches, quizzes, sponsored walks and a street collection organised by local man Tony Porter who raised E9,000 in one day.