Parents of Oakdale baby who will never walk determined to keep fundraising

First published in News

THE PARENTS of little Ayla-Mae Hemms have had the heartbreaking news that their little girl will never walk – but are determined to keep fundraising to make her life as comfortable as possible.

A recent scan on Ayla, who is 21 months old and from Oakdale, has revealed her brain has not developed properly in four places, meaning stem cell treatment, which the family were fundraising for, won't be able to help her.

Ayla-Mae suffers spastic quadriplegic cerebral palsy, and is also profoundly deaf.

Her parents, Leigh Hemms, 23, who works for Wales and West Utilities, and Kelsey Jenkins, 21, Ayla-Mae’s full-time carer, who are setting up a charity in their daughter’s name, were hoping to send her to America for a life-changing operation which could help her walk.

However, last month they were given the earth-shattering news that their little girl will never walk or eat by herself, and is going to be in a wheelchair and use a feeding tube for rest of her life

Doctors discovered that Ayla’s mum picked up a virus while she was pregnant that went undetected, causing fluid in Ayla’s head and preventing four separate parts of her brain from developing, causing her disabilities.

Because of this, stem cell treatment will not be able to help her, but instead of giving up, the couple want to continue raising the £100,000 for her in order to make her life as happy and comfortable as possible.

With the money they will buy all the specialist equipment they will need as Ayla continues to grow up, including making massive changes to their home to make it wheelchair friendly.

They have organised a black tie event to raise money on July 12 at the Maes Manor Hotel, featuring a raffle and auction of sports memorabilia, three-course dinner and entertainment.

Tickets are £50 per person or it’s £250 for table of 10.

Mr Hemms said: “So far we’ve got entertainment sorted as my sister is an opera singer, so she’ll be performing, and we’ve also got a great local band, the Bleeding Noses, playing too – they sound a bit like the Manics.

“We’ve got loads of great things for auction, and local boxers Craig Evans and Chuckie are coming along to support us.

“The only thing is we are still struggling to find a comedian, so if anyone knows of one free that night, please ask them to get in touch.”

“It’s been a hard couple of months, stem cells are no longer an option for us - the doctors have said there’s nothing they can do for Ayla.

“We wouldn’t change her for the world, we love her to bits, so we are going to carry on with the fundraising and make her life as comfortable and as easy as possible."

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