Little Tilly inspires fun day

Tilly McEwan with her mum Sally
Tilly McEwan with her mum Sally

The parents of a girl who was born with cystic fibrosis have been overwhelmed by the generosity of friends and strangers.

Three-year-old Tilly McEwan was born in Kettering General Hospital and whisked off for an operation in London when she was just a day old. Her mum, Sally, said: ““we had no idea she was ill during my pregnancy. She was born early and was in the Special Care Unit and that’s when they noticed something was wrong. She was taken to Chelsea and Westminster Hospital for an operation on her bowel. It was all very traumatic and a lot to deal with.”

When Sally and her husband Lee were told what was wrong with Tilly they had to research it on the internet to find out what it meant for her. Sally said: “I panicked and thought it meant she would die when she was a teenager but when she was born the average life expectancy for someone with cystic fibrosis was 36, now it’s 41, but everyone is different and it depends on how much lung damage there is.

“A doctor told us to put life first and cystic fibrosis behind it and that’s what we try to do.”

Tilly has to take medication every day and has physiotherapy twice a day. Sally said: “She has lots of hospital appointments but no stays yet so we’ve been very lucky, we know we’ve got that to come.”

Sally, Lee and Sally’s best friend Nicola Harrison have held various fundraising events for the Cystic Fibrosis Trust, including a cake bake and runs at Stanwick Lakes. On Saturday they’re holding a Christmas fun day at Stanion Village Hall.

Sally said: “I’ve been absolutely shocked at how generous people have been. I used to think facebook was just for people who were nosey but we’ve set up a public facebook page and the response has been amazing, without it we wouldn’t have got the support we’ve had. We’ve had random people emailing us asking for raffle tickets. It’s very touching.”Admission to the fun day, which runs from 10am to 4pm, is free and there will be face painting, stalls, a tombola and a Santa’s grotto, which costs £2.50. There is also the chance to win some great raffle prizes donated by local companies including £100, a meal for four at the new Chequered Flag pub, days out and hampers.