Final push begins to raise £250,000 and save Victoria’s legs
- Credit: Archant
One year ago the Komada family were struggling to come to terms with the idea of amputating little Victoria's legs.
But parents Dariusz Komada and Marzena Drusewicz decided that was unacceptable, and 12 months later their tireless efforts have created a fund of £50,000 to secure surgery for the one-year-old from north Norwich.
In December 2015, Vicki was diagnosed with one-in-a-million condition tibial bilateral hemimelia, and was told by doctors in this country amputation was the only option on the NHS.
But a consultation in April with Dr Dror Paley, a specialist in Florida, gave the family fresh hope that Vicki could walk with her own legs.
The next six months will be critical for the family, with £250,000 more needed before her second birthday to give her the best chance of success.
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Pioneering surgery at the Paley Institute involves a 12-month stay in the USA and three operations.
'There is some chance she would be fully healthy and walk normally,' said Mr Komada.
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'He could not give us a guarantee that her legs would have full functionality but there is a chance.'
While the chances of hitting the target in time are slim, Mr Komada said they cannot abandon hope.
'If we decide to amputate both legs, maybe in the future she will come to me and say, 'Dad, why did you agree to do that?'. How could I answer that question?
'I'm not sure if that is going to be enough but we will try everything we can.'
Mr Komada is working at his brother's grocery store, Pewex, over Christmas to keep an income for the family, while Vicki and her mum Marzena are fund-raising in Poland.
'It is very hard,' he said. 'The Christmas time is coming and I know she is not going to be there. Sometimes I just cry because it is so hard.
'I want to have my girls together to have some presents under the Christmas tree but I know that is not going to happen.'
Vicki's story spread from the Polish community to a wider audience after the theft of a donation tin from the shop on Mile Cross Lane.
Mr Komada said 'everything had changed' for the family since the theft.
'More people are interested in Victoria, with newspapers and local companies all wanting to help,' he said.
'I couldn't even imagine this time last year that so many people would want to help my daughter. People are amazing.'
Donations for Vicki can be made at www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/victoria-komada or on Facebook at Uratujmy nozki Victorii.