PARENTS of a courageous toddler who underwent life-saving surgery have raised more than £1,000 for the doctors who treated her.
Lilly Stewart was born with a rare liver disease which affects one in 10,000 babies a year and endured a major operation at just seven weeks old.
Her parents Kelly and Richard Stewart, of Belvidere, Shrewsbury, completed the Great North Run to raise money for hospitals who played a major role in saving her life.
Housewife Kelly, 34, said: “It was such an emotional roller coaster but the cries from the crowds gave you such a sense of pride and elation.
“I really struggled at the 10-mile mark but giving up was never an option.
“I was running for my baby girl.”
Lilly, now three, was born without bile ducts outside her liver – a condition called Biliary Atresia.
Without bile ducts the liver becomes blocked with poisons which can be deadly if not treated.
It was when Lilly became jaundiced that her GP took blood tests. A week later she underwent major surgery at King’s College, London.
Kelly completed the 13-mile challenge through Newcastle streets in three hours and seven minutes, while husband Richard, 41, who works for Severn Trent Water, took two hours and twelve minutes.
Kelly said: “What a day and what an experience.
“There were people of all ages and all walks of life, some in costumes and some in conveys.
“It is an experience that will stay with me a lifetime.”
Despite her progress, Lilly is still prone to infections and must take a constant stream of antibiotics.
There is also a chance Lilly, a member of Holy Trinity Playgroup, Belle Vue, may need a liver transplant in the future.
The couple who also have daughters Rhianne, 12, Molly, seven, and one-year-old Ruby, will doante their proceeds to King's College in London, the liver unit at Birmingham Children's Hospital and The Rainbow Ward at The Royal Shrewsbury Hospital.
Kelly added: “We would like to say a huge thank you to all our friends, family andwork collegues who have supported us.”
Pledge your support at www.justgiving.com/kelly-Stewart0.
See full story in the Leader