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Lottery millionaires move Skye Swinton a step closer to walking

By Gloucestershire Echo  |  Posted: November 13, 2012

'BLOWN AWAY':  Skye Swinton, with parents John and Ruth Swinton, is in line for a life-changing operation due to the generosity of Chris and Colin Weir, left

'BLOWN AWAY': Skye Swinton, with parents John and Ruth Swinton, is in line for a life-changing operation due to the generosity of Chris and Colin Weir

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GENEROUS lottery winners have given thousands of pounds to fund an operation that could help three-year-old Skye Swinton walk again.

Lucky Chris and Colin Weir, who won the EuroMillions have stumped up the cash to give the Cheltenham girl a £40,000 operation.

Nearly £12,000 had been raised for Skye, who has spastic diplegic cerebral palsy, to have a life-changing surgery following a campaign in the Gloucestershire Echo.

But a heartfelt letter to the £161m winners from Skye's parents Ruth and John convinced the generous donors to give the family the rest of the money they needed.

Skye, who was born 13 weeks prematurely weighing just 1lb 15oz, is still waiting for medical assessments before the operation, but Ruth hopes she could now have the surgery next summer.

The tot from Arle is currently unsteady on her feet, easily tired and unable to go any distance without help from a wheelchair.

The pioneering £40,000 operation partially cuts the nerve roots where they join the spinal cord, permanently reducing the tightness.

Without the operation, which is unlikely to be paid for by the NHS, Skye would need major orthopaedic surgery by the age of 10 or 11.

Her mum, a former teacher and now Skye's full-time carer, said: "It is just unbelievable and we are so delighted. I sent the letter months ago and so I just thought it would have been politely binned, so to get the phone call with the news was just fantastic.

"There are still a number of medical hurdles to overcome, but now that we have raised the money we need, we can now concentrate on helping Skye reach her full potential.

"We just want to take this opportunity to thank everyone – both in the Echo offices and your readers – for all your support.

"We were absolutely blown away with the support we've had, and the generosity we have been shown."

The Cheltenham family vowed to keep fundraising in aid of Skye and will use the additional money to help her during her rehabilitation.

All their fundraising events, including a Christmas Sale on Saturday, December 1, from 10am to 2pm at St Mark's Community Centre, within the next couple of months will go ahead as planned.

The Scottish couple won the largest amount in the history of the EuroMillions.

In a statement, they said: "Skye faces many challenges in the next year and she needs her mum and dad to be focused on her. That's why we've given a donation. Without the additional worry and pressure of fundraising, their time can be spent on Skye."

OPINION, P8

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