We did it! Thank you 38,429 times over...

Healthcare assistant Julie Ingomells, Melanie Parojcic, Eleni Shaw, healthcare assistant Magdelin Thomas, Sue Hanson, Mary Hamilton, Momilco Parojcic, Barbara Whittaker'front row ' from left: Sue Ng, Vera Parojcic, staff nurse Caroline Martin}
Healthcare assistant Julie Ingomells, Melanie Parojcic, Eleni Shaw, healthcare assistant Magdelin Thomas, Sue Hanson, Mary Hamilton, Momilco Parojcic, Barbara Whittaker'front row ' from left: Sue Ng, Vera Parojcic, staff nurse Caroline Martin}
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After 18 months of tireless fund-raising, there are 38,429 reasons to say thank you now a charity’s target to buy a new glaucoma laser has been met.

Vera Parojcic set up the Aye Eye charity in April 2010 and since then the team of volunteers has grown and support has come from all over Calderdale and Kirkless.

In a short space of time they have already raised £38,429 too meet their ambitious goal.

Vera started the charity after her own sight was restored by surgeon Nitin Anand.

She wanted to raise £45,000 to buy a laser for the Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Trust. The state-of-the art machine can stop the progression of the blinding eye disease.

After receiving a discount of £10,000, they have now purchased the laser, and have a little extra to donate to the opthalmology team. The donations which tipped the total over the mark were Branko Stajic, who raised £520, Sue Hanson, who raised £500 by running the Great North Run and a trio from Huddersfield have added £3,000 to the tally by collecting at rock and roll nights across the town.

But Vera is keen to point out it has been a community effort. Donations have come from companies, individuals and groups through events of all sizes – including the Eye Ball and fun days, psychic nights and bake sales.

Vera said: “The support from people has been absolutely astounding. We have done it together. It’s the people of Calderdale and Halifax and the wonderful team which means that 6,000 will benefit,” she said.

She said it had not only helped give something back to the team who returned her eyesight, it also meant she met new people and new friends.

“I’ve met lovely people and it’s their success, not mine because without them I couldn’t have done any of this,” she said.

Consultant ophthalmologist, Mr Nitin Anand, said: “We are grateful for the magnificent support and generosity of local people. Their support has helped us to provide the latest equipment, and will benefit thousands of patients each year.”