A caring vet on Teesside has set up a fundraising page that has raised nearly £2,000 after learning about a customer whose ten-year-old daughter needs life-changing brain surgery. 

An appeal was launched by Kim Taylor-Morton at Grange Vets in Norton, Stockton, after learning that clients Shane and Hayley Harris had to choose between them which one would stay with their daughter at hospital as she has a major operation.

Ten-year-old Maise is due to have surgery at Great Ormond Street Hospital in London later this month after suffering from multiple seizures each day due to cysts on her brain. Sadly, only one of her parents - who both care for her and their two other young children - can stay with Maisie at the hospital, while the other would need to pay for a hotel in central London to be nearby.

Shane said: “The operation is to get Maisie’s life back. She really needs it. She can’t do proper activities or go out to play. We used to be out every weekend, walking in the woods or at the beach. We can’t do that now because a long day makes it worse the following week. It is a vicious cycle. We are literally housebound. Maisie understands why but hates it.

Darlington and Stockton Times: Maisie with Kim.Maisie with Kim. (Image: Grange Veterinary Surgery)

“I can’t afford to stay in London for a week. I was thinking I might have to leave Hayley and Maisie and return home but after what my daughter has gone through, I need to be there for her, for me, and to support my wife.

Maisie had her first seizure three years ago, and an MRI revealed a cluster of cysts on her brain which have since grown. She has up to 30 seizures every day now, which are caused by brain stimulation, which leaves her in pain and exhausted and unable to do anything which might trigger an episode.

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Because of her condition, Maisie is only able to attend school for an hour every other day to avoid becoming overstimulated and spends a lot of her time drawing or watching television with the family's English bulldog Kobi as a companion.

Kim, who is the clinical director of Grange Vets has got to know the family and Maisie in recent years as Kobi's vet, and stepped in to help on learning of their predicament.

Within days of launching the appeal the £1,800 target had been smashed thanks to well-wishers, helped by one anonymous donor who gave an incredible £1,700.

Darlington and Stockton Times: Shane, Hayley, Maisie, Kim and Kobi the dog.Shane, Hayley, Maisie, Kim and Kobi the dog. (Image: Grange Veterinary Surgery)

Kim said: “They are lovely clients and Maisie is a really sweet girl. When I heard about the situation, I had to do something – initially to help so both parents can be close to hand immediately after her surgery, and for each other, but also so the whole family can have resources for ongoing care and make up for lost time when she is recovered.

“The response has been incredible, especially the £1,700 donation. It’s just what was needed to take the heat off.”

“What Kim has done is going to be life-changing for all of us, especially for Maisie," adds Shane. "This money is a massive weight off my mind. I can now concentrate on the operation and my family. It has changed my perception of things.

"People who don’t even know me are prepared to help just because of the situation we are in. There are good hearts out there. It is amazing.”

He also talks of how important their dog Kobi is in helping them with caring for Maisie.

“Kobi loves all the kids, and he senses the seizures now. It started a couple of months ago when we were eating and Maisie went to the bathroom. The dog went crazy. I thought someone was at the front door and went to check just as Maisie was starting to fall.

“The dog did it again a couple of days later. The next thing she went into a seizure, and we caught her in time. It is amazing. We know now he will bark or run to Maisie if something happens.”

The crowdfunding page is available at this link: https://www.gofundme.com/f/maisies-family-fund