Mum-of-four sets up fundraiser to buy Christmas presents for the doctors and nurses who saved her daughter's life

Catherine McKinney, mum-of-four from North Berwick has set up a donation link to help buy presents for the ‘quick-acting’ doctors and nurses who saved her daughters life in October.

Eliza smiling in hospital.
Eliza smiling in hospital.

Eliza, aged nine suffers from Retts Syndrome and was rushed to hospital on October 9 following a choking incident at their family home.

Ms McKinney, 44, said: “On arrival in A&E she had two collapsed lungs and was fighting for her life, just seconds away from cardiac arrest.

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“After the quick actions of the doctors and nurses she was stabilised and spent five weeks in hospital, over two weeks of which were in intensive care on a ventilator.

Eliza smiling in her hospital bed.

“It was into week four before we saw her beautiful smile again and week five before she started to gain strength again.”

To thank the staff at the Royal Hospital for Sick Children in Edinburgh for saving her little girl, Ms McKinney set up a donation link in connection with Neal’s Yard, an organic

remedies company, in order to raise money to buy Christmas presents for the doctors and nurses. So far she has raised £500.

She told the Evening News: “The nurses, doctors and therapists were amazing during our time at the hospital and I really wanted to give back and show my appreciation.

Friends and family supporting Eliza as she recovered in hospital.

"I am a Neal’s Yard consultant and I usually get 25 percent commission on any orders placed through me.

"Instead of taking this commission, I will use it to buy Neal’s Yard gifts for the staff.

"So, people can do their own Christmas shopping and also know that 25 percent of their order is going towards gifts for the staff of Royal Hospital for Sick Children.”

Eliza was diagnosed with Rett Syndrome when she was just three years old.

Ms McKinney said: “As a baby and toddler, Eliza was able to say a few words, hold objects, sit up without support and was developing like any other baby.

"Around the age of two, her development stalled and she started to regress, losing all the abilities that she previously had.”

Rett Syndrome strikes previously healthy children, mostly girls, between the ages of one and three-years-old and takes away their ability to walk, talk, breathe normally and use their hands.

Ms McKinney added that most sufferers need one to one care for the rest of their lives.

When Eliza was diagnosed, her mum decided to start fundraising for Reverse Rett, a charity dedicated to funding research into the treatment and cure of Rett Syndrome.

In 2017, Ms McKinney joined the board of the charity and wanted to make a special mention of their work saying a lot of the valuable research is being carried out at the University of Edinburgh.

Her husband, Eliza’s dad, has plans to row across the Atlantic to raise money for Reverse Rett next year.

The link to buy products and donate 25 percent to help buy Christmas presents for the staff in A&E, Intensive Care and the Respiratory ward at the hospital is viable for another two days, expiring on Sunday November 2 at 9pm.

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