East Sussex family needs to raise £2.5 million

It's for in-vitro surgery for their unborn daughter

Dorothea has Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome, meaning that she is missing the left side of her heart.

This severe blockage, that the NHS is unable to operate on before birth, leaves her with a 5-10% chance of survival without intervention.

She is due to be born in July, giving her family less than two months to raise funds for the in-vitro heart surgery she desperately needs.

This highly-specialised procedure is only available in Texas, but increases her chance of survival to 87%. The cost of this essential surgery is estimated at $3.2 million (around £2.5 million). Her parents, Rob Velez, 49, and Zofia Fenrych, 39, from Forest Row, East Sussex are understandably desperate for help and support to give Dorothea the best chance of survival.

Rob, a former U.S. serviceman, said: ‘If Dorothea can get this surgery in the next five weeks she has every chance of living a normal life, without it she has very little chance.’

‘I have been fortunate enough to devote much of my life to philanthropy, and it feels strange to have to ask for help in this way, but there is clearly no other way to get Dorothea the surgery she so desperately needs.’

‘We are throwing everything at this. I’m asking everyone I’ve ever worked for, everyone I’ve ever met, to help.’ ‘She is our daughter, we love her, and we will do everything possible to save her’ adds Zofia.

The family is supported by children’s charity Tree of Hope. The charity helps families fundraise for children with healthcare needs which are not covered by the NHS and provides charity status to benefit from gift aid, corporate support whilst also providing donor reassurance.

Gill Gibb, Tree of Hope CEO said: ‘This is the first time we’ve been asked to help with fundraising for an unborn child but obviously we are delighted to be doing so and wish them the best of luck in hitting their target’

For more information or to donate to Dorothea’s fund, visit https://www.treeofhope.org.uk/please-help-save-baby-dorotheas-life/ 

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