A youngster who underwent surgery at Great Ormond Street Hospital was so inspired by the children she saw there that she is on a mission to raise as much money as possible for Children in Need.
Liyah Males, 12, who lives with her parents Lisa and Andy on May Street, Ilkeston, was born with right sided Microtia Atresia which means she had no ear lobe and severe hearing loss.
She told the ‘Tiser: “In the past six months I have had two ear reconstruction surgeries at Great Ormond Street Hospital. Spending so much time at GOSH made me realise that there are thousands of children worse off than me.
“It is a privately funded hospital and they need £50 million a year to stay open, so I wanted to raise money so that they can keep helping children get better.
“For the first part of the operation I was in hospital for a week. They took cartilage out my rib and shaped it to make an ear and put it in a hole on the side of my head. It took six hours and was scary but it’s the best decision I have ever made. Before the operation I never had my hair up but now I have it up every day. I didn’t like the way I looked, now I’m happy and it looks better than I ever imagined.”
Liyah, who has a bone anchored hearing aid on left hand side which enables to hear a lot better, underwent a second operation a few weeks ago to have the ear released from the side of her head. She then went back last Thursday for a check up and to get a splint behind his ear for when she’s asleep.
Mum Lisa, 34, said: “Her outer ear didn’t form properly at birth. She had no hearing because her ear canal was blocked up. In September last year we made the decision to look into reconstructive surgery to give her a confidence boost.
“As she got older she realised her ear was different and it had affected her confidence.
“We were referred to Great Ormond Street. Neil, the consultant, went through what the procedures were. The first operation was in April to make the shape of the ear, then three weeks ago she had a second operation.
“Liyah is at an age where she appreciates that there are kids worse off than her. I think it’s great that they have organised the fundraiser, I’m really pleased for them.”
Liyah is planning the event with her friend Sophie Cottingham, who she goes to Ilkeston Ormistion Enterprise Academy with.
She said: “Myself and my best friend Sophie decided to do a fundraiser because Children in Need help to fund projects and hospitals that help thousands of children just like me. Children in Need helps fund surgeries and hospitals just like Great Ormond Street Hospital, so this year I am doing my bit to raise money. I want to raise as much as I can to make a difference. If it goes well than I might do other events in the future.”
The event will take place on November 7, between 1-4pm, at Christ Church Hall on Vicarage Street. There will be a craft stall, a book stall and lots of other stalls. There will also be cakes and drinks.
Children in Need will be televised on Friday November 13. This year the charity is asking the people of the UK to dress up as their childhood her. More information on how to get involved can be found at bbcchildreninnneed.co.uk.