An inspirational Arbroath girl is heading down south this weekend for an operation that could change her life.
Ten-year-old Elise Powell, who has Crouzon syndrome, will undergo major surgery at Alder Hey children’s hospital in Liverpool to have a metal frame fitted to her skull, which she will have on for three months.
Elise was born with the condition, a genetic disorder which affects the fusion of certain skull bones and prevents it from growing normally. She has already undergone two major operations, one at six months old and another at 18 months.
Dad Danny and mum Nikkola will be with Elise for her 10-day stay in hospital, while her 14-year-old brother, Shaun, will be here staying with his grandparents.
The Powell family and friends have already raised almost £25,000 for Alder Hey hospital over the past 10 years through various fund-raisng events and head to Liverpool with the best wishes of everyone, including Dundee United young guns John Souttar and Ryan Gauld as well as Scotland star Charlie Adam.
Dad Danny, a former professional footballer with Arbroath, Montrose, St Johnstone and Brechin City, told me: “Elise is so brave and we’re all very proud of her. She will have the brace on for about three months after the operation and won’t be able to eat solid food, so that will be a challenge as well.
“She has had two big operations before but this is the first one for more than eight years. She gets check-ups every year but this operation could be life-changing.
“It’s a stressful time for us all but we’re really hopeful. We’ve had so many messages of support and are really grateful to everyone for their kindness and fund-raising efforts over the years.”
Alder Hey Children’s hospital aims to help improve the quality of life for children as well as research medical conditions and buy vital equipment. Anyone who would like to donate or fund-raise for Alder Hey can go to www.alderheycharity.com