Race against time to raise £300k for Norwich baby’s life-changing surgery dashed by donations theft
- Credit: Archant
A Polish family are desperately trying to raise £300,000 to save the legs of one-year-old Victoria Komada, who was born with a one in a million deformity.
She has a one in a million condition which means both her legs could be amputated – and now little Victoria Komada's family are in a race against time to raise £300,000 for vital treat-ment in the US.
One-year-old Victoria's devastated parents Darius Komada and Marzena Drusewicz, from north Norwich, were told by doctors in this country that a double amputation was the only option, but they found an institute in America that could save her legs.
However, the family's hopes were dealt a blow this week when a thief stole a fundraising tin for Victoria from her aunt and uncle's food store in Catton Grove. Barbara and Greg Komada work with Victoria's father at the Pewex shop on Mile Cross Lane.
On Monday evening, around 7.20pm, a man was caught on CCTV stealing a tin from the shop counter containing £300 raised for Victoria, who was born with bilateral tibial hemimelia.
Now aged 15 months, Victoria needs the surgery within nine months to have the best chance of success.
'All the doctors here said there was nothing they could do other than amputation,' said Victoria's aunt Mrs Komada, 38.
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'Eventually they found the one doctor in the whole world doing this kind of surgery and for her parents there is always this hope maybe they can do it.
'They had a consultation with him in April this year and after that they found out how much they have to raise. She has to have the operation before she is two because her bones are not very strong at the moment. It is not an easy situation at all. If this isn't done before she is two her legs will be amputated.
'She is a very happy baby and she tries to do everything a normal child does. She is always smiling and positive.
'It is very sad for her parents and for everyone involved.
'When [her mother] was pregnant the doctors said everything was okay because this didn't show up on scans. It was a big surprise and there was a lot of tears.' Through collection tins, fundraising events and auctions, around £10,000 has now been raised towards the surgery.
Victoria will need to go to Florida for a year and have six operations to correct her limbs.
'We have tried to raise this money everywhere, in Poland and in England,' added her uncle Mr Komada, 43. 'We have created fundraising events and collections.
'This doctor they found would rebuild and expand all her bones.
It is a very unusual condition which is why there is only one institute for people like her. Only one person in a million gets it.'
A man suspected of stealing the tin was seen in the shop three times on Monday before the tin was taken, added Mrs Komada.
'He must not have any feelings. I can't tell you how angry we all are – the whole community.'
To donate to Victoria, visit www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/victoria-komada.
Anyone with any information about the theft should contact Norfolk police on 101.