Affectionately called her ‘unplanned adventure’, Izabella has been admitted to hospital more than thirty times since March 2020.
At one point just walking from one room to another would make Izabella feel sick and lose her balance. In July 2021, she was diagnosed with Chairi malformation and Idiopathic Intracranial Hypertension (IIH), where the lower part of the brain pushes down into the spinal canal.
Earlier this month, she had an operation to fit a VP shunt to her head. The procedure required some of her hair to be shaved, which gave Izabella the inspiration to take on a sponsored head shave to say thank you to the staff treating her.
Izabella explains: “I decided to try and raise some money for Ward 5 at Sheffield Children’s Hospital, to say thank you to all the staff for their amazing care and dedication- not just to me, but for all the children who have to come here.”
Izabella was joined in her head shave by family friend Emma, to show her support and how much Izabella is loved, as well as ease any feelings of self-consciousness.
Emma said: “I’ve known Izabella and the girls for ages. When I found out what Izabella was going through, I decided to join her in it too. She’s such a lovely girl and I didn’t want to her to be alone. We had a great time and danced around the hairdressers together!”
The family have raised an amazing £1,600 for The Children’s Hospital Charity, which will be dedicated to the Ward 5 departmental fund. It is hoped the total can support the purchase of a new accuvein, which will help clinicians introduce a cannula or thin tube into a vein.
Mum Becky explains: “We have stayed on Ward 5, the neurosciences ward at Sheffield Children’s. All the staff are amazing, they’re so supportive and they explain everything in detail, step-by-step. They are superstars and treat every child and parent with respect.
“Prior to Izabella being admitted in March 2020, she was fit and healthy. Having treatment during COVID has been difficult, bringing extra pressures on us all, but the team at Sheffield Children’s have been amazing.
“Juggling work, another child with additional needs and Izabella’s treatment has not been easy but we have to make the best of what life brings. Izabella’s dad and I are overwhelmed by the support we have had so far and now wish to carry on fundraising to meet our big target.
“We were discharged home two weeks ago to continue Izabella’s recovery and we’re hopeful the shunt will help manage her conditions and give her back the quality of life she’s missed over the last 18 months.”
Abigail Whiting, Regional Fundraising Assistant added: “On behalf of everyone in the Charity Team, we would like to say a huge thank you to Izabella, Emma, their family and friends for this incredible gesture.
“Together, they have raised a phenomenal amount to express their gratitude for the care Izabella has received. We couldn’t be more grateful and continue to wish Izabella well in her treatment at Sheffield Children’s.”
You can support Izabella’s fundraising by visiting: www.justgiving.com/fundraising/izabellaward5