Llanelli family's desperate appeal to help Eva take first steps
IT might not seem like a lot to some, but for one Llanelli three-year-old, being able to take her first few steps would be a dream come true.
Little Eva Rose was born 12 weeks premature, and at the age of one was diagnosed with a condition called spastic diaplegia cerebral palsy, which means she is unable to walk.
The inspirational youngster, who has a twin sister Grace, and seven-year-old sister Olivia, needs to undergo a life-changing operation in America by the time she is four or her life could be severely impaired forever.
Now, her parents Steve and Claire John, of Tir yr Yspyty in Bynea, are on a mission to raise the £50,000 needed for the operation, which will give their daughter the chance to walk unaided.
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Mrs John said: "It is a lot of money but not when you think of how it is going to change her life.
"She is a very cheeky, wicked, normal and happy girl, she does not let it get her down.
"She is an inspiration and has overcome so many hurdles.
"We have got so many things lined up, and everybody is determined to raise the money needed to get this operation for her."
Eva was born at 28 weeks and weighed only 2lbs.
After a normal pregnancy, Eva and Grace developed twin to twin transfusion syndrome, which meant that one twin had more blood and oxygen than the other.
As well as the operation, the youngster will also need to undergo intensive physiotherapy afterwards to help build up her muscles.
The NHS in Wales is unable to fund the life-changing operation or aftercare, so the family need help from the public.
Mrs John hopes her daughter, who is set to join Pontybrenin Primary School in January, will be able to experience the same recovery as three-year-old Hari Kieft, of Swansea, who also suffered from the condition.
After undergoing spinal surgery in America, Hari, a Swansea City fan, was able to lead the team out on to the pitch at last season's final match against Liverpool.
Mrs John, a child care officer, said: "We have been to see the Kieft family and Hari came walking to the door — it is unbelievable what the operation can do. Eva can't walk unaided, or balance, or anything like that, and we just know the operation would do so much for her life.The sooner we can raise the money the better."
If you would like to help by giving a donation, visit the website www.evarosemydreamtowalk.co.uk.