Traveling Thousands Of Miles to Help Baby Daughter

Parents of a baby who suffered complications at birth in Devon are making two hundred mile round trips to Swindon as often as five times a week.

It's to make sure their little girl gets specialist medical treatment, which they hope will give her the best start in life. 

Tiny Madeline Bell, from Willand, didn't get enough oxygen when she was born in May and as a result, she suffered a brain injury called Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy - known as HIE for short.

Now, her mum and dad, Kayleigh and Tim, are taking her for High Dosage Oxygen Therapy, which they hope could lessen the negative effects of her difficult birth in the future. 

Kayleigh told Heart, "The increased pressure helps to increase the supply to Maddies brain. "When this happens, the swelling around nerve tissue reduces and blood vessels constrict which allows repair to take place. It's Extraordinary." 

The more therapy Maddie has before her first birthday, the more likely it is to make a positive effect. The family is hoping to make eighty trips to the Swindon centre - the closest to home - in a year. 

But travelling so far is expensive and time consuming. At the moment, the NHS can't cover the cost so Tim and Kayleigh have to find the money themselves. 

Kayleigh said, "It costs us about £30 in diesel every trip and it's £16.50 for the treatment so it's almost £50 a time. We are aiming for 80 sessions before she's 12 months to give her a good start. 

"If we continue to see benefit from it then she'll need 'top up' sessions for life." 

A centre in Exeter provides the same oxygen therapy to adults, but they've told the family that they can't treat Madeline, as their equipment an only be used by those over 18 years old.

Maddie's friends and family will be holding a "marathon bounce" - non-stop jumping on a trampoline for 20 hours - to raise money to help pay for the treatment.

It'll take place on the 26th and 27th of October. 

We spoke to Kayleigh about Madeline, and what they hoped to achieve with the bounce- listen here


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