Halifax girl who needed nine weeks in hospital when she was born helps charity who supported her loved ones

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A little Halifax girl whose intestines were born outside her body is fundraising for the charity that helped her and her loved ones.

Charlie Bell, from Illingworth, was born with Gastroschisis - a condition which affects only five in every 10,000 babies.

At only four hours old, she was rushed into surgery to allow surgeons to try to place her intestines back inside her body. But complications meant this did not go to plan and more surgery was needed.

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She needed nine long weeks in hospital, including seven in intensive care and three rounds of surgery.

Little Charlie Bell, from IllingworthLittle Charlie Bell, from Illingworth
Little Charlie Bell, from Illingworth

Thanks to The Sick Children’s Trust, Charlie’s parents were able to stay at Eckersley House - a “home from home” based in the grounds of Leeds General Infirmary - enabling them to be by her side for all that time.

Now eight and thriving, Charlie wanted to do something to help the charity who helped keep her family close by when she was ill.

She decided to donate her hair to be used for wigs for children who have lost their hair, and have her haircut sponsored, with the money going to The Sick Children’s Trust.

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Through an online fundraiser and collection tub at her school, Abbey Park Primary Academy, she has raised hundreds of pounds

Charlie had her hair cut off to raise fundsCharlie had her hair cut off to raise funds
Charlie had her hair cut off to raise funds

“I couldn’t be any prouder of her,” said her mum Nicole. “She’s an incredible little soul.”

Her school said: “We are so proud of how brave she has been and the fantastic fundraising she has done, all to support a special charity very close to her heart.”

Charlie has three brothers - Colton, Carter and Connor.

The Sick Children’s Trust aims to gives families one less thing to worry about by giving them a place to stay, and someone to talk to, free of charge just minutes from their child’s bedside.

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Charlie with two of her brothers, Colton and ConnorCharlie with two of her brothers, Colton and Connor
Charlie with two of her brothers, Colton and Connor

The charity was founded 40 years ago and has accommodation at 10 hospitals across the country.

Eckersley House was originally opened in 1984 at St James’s Hospital and moved to its current site 10 years later.

To donate to Charlie’s sponsorship, visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Charlies-big-chop .