Staff and pupils at Dromore Central Primary School showed how big a heart they have this Valentine’s day, when they held a charity bun sale to raise funds for past pupil Rachel Cunningham.
In February 2016 Rachel suffered a debilitating brain haemorrhage.
To help pay for her continued rehabilitation treatment her dad, Shane Rainey, started a fundraising campaign. He is hoping to raise £5,000 towards the cost of specialist equipment and therapies in order to give his daughter the best possible chance of ‘leading a normal life again’.
Teacher at Dromore Central, Lisa Cochrane, said: “This was the first venture that our new school council took part in and the DCPS community showed their love for Rachel by raising £500.”
Rachel moved to London with her mum, Deborah three years ago. It was there as a normal, happy, healthy 12-year-old girl that she suddenly took ill and collapsed while at school in February.
She was rushed to A&E in Lewisham where doctors discovered she’d had a brain haemorrhage.
From there she was transferred to King’s College Hospital where surgeons treated her for a clot on her brain. Rachel was in a coma for 23 days, and when she woke up she couldn’t walk, talk or eat, and for several weeks could only communicate through squeezing her right hand for ‘yes’ and wiggling her left foot for ‘no’.
She was transferred to The Children’s Trust in Tadworth in July for a period of intensive rehabilitation where she started to make progress.
Shane said Rachel is showing great courage and determination and is fighting hard to get her life back to normal.
“Rachel requires intense physiotherapy, speech and language therapy and occupational therapy daily,” he explained.
Her funding for this ended last October and now Shane hopes the GoFundMe page he set up will allow them to explore additional private therapies and specialist treatment to maximise her potential of a full recovery.
Shane is grateful to the ‘amazing’ staff at King’s College Hospital and The Children’s Trust for the help and support they’ve given Rachel.
He’s also extremely grateful to the charities and businesses that have supported him personally, allowing him to stay in England with his daughter while she undergoes treatment.
Appealing for people to support his fundraising campaign, he added: “Rachel’s pretty well known around Dromore. A lot of people know her story and have been asking what way they could help.
“There wasn’t really any way people could help at that stage, but now she’s medically better it’s all about the rehabilitation and getting her walking and dealing with the psychological problems.”