Christmas wish for family of seriously ill Norfolk girl

The family of Ella-Grace Honeyman are once again heading into Christmas with the worry of another high-risk surgery hanging over them.

The four-year-old's parents Ryan and Laura Honeyman had hoped to celebrate the festive season this year knowing the leaking blood vessels in their little girl's brain had at last been sealed.

But after a chest infection in September forced doctors to call off what was thought to be Ella-Grace's final operation, they will have to return to New York at Easter for the seventh surgery.

Ella-Grace, who began school this September, was diagnosed with rare brain condition Vein of Galen malformation just before her first birthday in 2008.

Last night, her mother, 32, said: 'We were really hoping that would be the last one in September, then we wouldn't have that anxiety; we wouldn't have to keep putting ourselves through those emotions, those worries, those fears.


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'It would be nice to feel like a normal family.'

Following her last trip to New York, doctors said just 10pc of the aneurism in Ella-Grace's brain remained.

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The Honeymans, from Hevingham, near Aylsham, have not yet been given a new date for the final surgery, but hope it will take place during the Easter holidays to avoid interrupting term time at Colman Infant School, in Norwich, where Ella-Grace is in the reception class.

Mrs Honeyman said not having a date made it a little easier to put the operation to the back of her mind and concentrate on enjoying the family's first Christmas with new arrival Rylan, who is six months old.

She said both Ella-Grace and her elder sister Niamh, seven, were very excited. 'Ella-Grace keeps asking 'how many days? How many sleeps?',' Mrs Honeyman said. 'We've taken her to see Santa at Jarrold's and we went on the Santa cruise on the Broads.

'She was very happy to hear she was on the good Christmas list.'

After Ella-Grace was diagnosed with Vein of Galen malformation, her family chose to take her abroad for the operations to ensure she was seen by the most experienced surgeons.

It means each treatment costs about �40,000.

Funds for the latest New York operation were depleted following the cancelled surgery earlier this year, but Mrs Honeyman said supporters had now helped them get back on track.

The fundraising team is now hoping to build up a contingency in case there are any further unexpected costs.

To give to the Ella-Grace fund contact Steve Read on 07949 871013 or 01603 722294, or visit www.lifeforellagracefund.co.uk

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