A mother and father need to raise £3,000 in three weeks to help their toddler fight a fear of eating which has left her only able to feed through a tube.
Twenty-two-month-old Evie Bigwood, of Dumbrills Close, Burgess Hill, went through a series of scary events when she was younger where she would vomit or choke while trying to eat.
The series of experiences, over 18 months, lead to such a strong fear of eating that she now can only be fed through a tube.
Her mother Charlie, 28, described how the problem evolved.
“She would have lots of vomiting and reflux problems and she would be quite distressed when it came to feeding . Whenever we tried solid food she would gag and choke.
“She had multiple admissions to hospital because she would get dehydrated. Over about 18 months she developed a real fear of eating.
“It’s been very distressing and worrying.”
The NHS has suggested Evie, Charlie and father Jonny, 28, go to a special clinic which will be held over two weeks, in Austria, from July 27.
The clinic will offer the family, along with around 20 other families, the support and guidance they need to ween their children off their tubes and onto solid foods.
But the intensive two week course, followed by a year of at home support, costs £6,000.
Jonny. Charlie, their friends and family have all held various events to try to raise the funds but they are still only half way there, with just three weeks until they are supposed to leave.
“It’s all in a hotel and the children think it’s a holiday which will be great because she’s scared of hospitals, she doesn’t like people touching her because she had so many bad experiences.”
Charlie and Jonny have funded the flights and accommodation themselves.
Jonny will run the Windsor Marathon in September and is getting sponsorship for that now.
Their friend has been giving free massages in return for donations. Evie’s nursery - Rosebud Nursery, Burgess Hill - will host a sponsored walk on July 23.
The Dumbrills Close residents association hosted a garden party in the family’s honour last weekend (Saturday July 27).
To help with the last push for £3,000, visit the family’s fundraising webpage at www.gofundme.com/helpevieeat