Family ‘overwhelmed’ as strangers fund toddler’s USA heart surgery trip

Verity with her parents Emily and Russel
Verity with her parents Emily and Russel

The worried parents of a two-year-old whose heart could stop beating at any moment have been ‘overwhelmed’ by the kindness of strangers.

Emily and Russel Davy’s world was turned upside down in January when their little daughter Verity was rushed to hospital.

Doctors found her heart was beating more than 250 times a minute – so fast the hospital machines could not pick it up.

They found that Verity has an extremely rare life-threatening heart tumour called a fibroma.

Emily, who works for Virgin Atlantic at Manor Royal, said: “The tumour makes her heart beat irregularly and could cause it suddenly stop at any time.

“We never know if today will be the day we might lose her.”

The surgery to fix the tumour is so complex that Verity needs to be flown to a specialist unit in Boston, USA,for it.

But the cost of the surgery and travel is very high, so the family have been forced to turn to crowdfunding to pay for the life-saving trip.

A target of £50,000 was set at the end of May, and donations soon came pouring in – not just from Crawley, but around the world.

Emily, 32, said: “A lot of the donations have just been from complete strangers.

“I’m overwhelmed and really emotional about it.”

The online campaign received a massive 1,172 separate donations, smashing the target and raising more than £54,000.

Emily added: “We’re really pleased, it’s a massive weight off our shoulders.

“She’s booked in for the operation on September 13.”

Verity, who lives with her family in Rother Crescent, Gossops Green, will spend about ten days in hospital and then several weeks in the Boston community after the operation so she can recover, before flying back in November.

Asked about the incredible number of donations, Emily said: “A huge thank you, they have given Verity a chance of having a life.

“We would not have been able to give her that opportunity.

“We are trying to go to all these fundraising events just to show people who Verity is.

“She’s loving going to all the events, talking with people and eating lots of cake.”

A link to Verity’s campaign can be found on our website.