Stolen funds for one in a million baby replaced by generous Norwich community
- Credit: Nick Butcher
Money stolen from baby Victoria Komada, born with a one in a million condition that could mean her legs are amputated, has been replaced after the community of Norwich rallied.
Last month a fund-raising tin at her aunt and uncle's Polish shop on Mile Cross Lane was thieved as the family battle to raise £300,000 for life-changing surgery in the USA.
To give little Victoria the best chance she has to have the operations by her second birthday - in just nine months time.
Now more than £4,000 has been donated, and the £300 stolen from the family shop was replaced yesterday from the John Bays Foundation, run by the Norfolk Fly Fishing Association, a group within the Norfolk Freemasons.
'This was such a despicable act,' said secretary David Mostyn. 'The sort of people that do what this man did are the lowest of the low. There is no other way to describe them. 'I am old enough to remember the war and the Polish pilots who flew with us. There is a debt there that can't be repaid. 'This is to replace some of what the family have lost.'
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The John Bays Foundation has been running for several years since the death of the eponymous headmaster from Upwell.
'Each year we raise money and try to give it to a child in need,' added Mr Mostyn. 'The fund started from a sum given at the funeral of one of our members, John Bays. He was a headmaster and his favourite saying to the children was 'you are the future, I am history'. 'When he died £860 was raised at his funeral. We took the money and set up the John Bays Foundation.'
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Since the family appealed for help hundreds of pounds have been donated, including an anonymous donor who delivered £500 in cash.
An 86-year-old woman reached out through Barclays bank to get in touch with the family, and handed over some items to be auctioned through their fund-raising page on Facebook.
Victoria's dad Dariusz Komada said they were overwhelmed by the response.
'I am completely surprised and I have not been expecting the response we have got,' he said. 'I had stopped believing in people but hen something like this happens and we see people want to help us, I start to believe there are still some really good people.'
The family have raised around £30,000 to date in Poland and the UK. To donate visit www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/victoria-komada. There is also a bilingual Facebook page where any items can be auctioned with proceeds going to Victoria. Search Uratujmy nó?ki Victorii- Help save my legs.