Morley family raising funds for lifesaving surgery for daughter Ella Ford (5)

Sarah Colegate of Morley with her daughter Ella Ford (5). Photo: David Baylis
Sarah Colegate of Morley with her daughter Ella Ford (5). Photo: David Baylis

THE family of a five-year-old Morley girl diagnosed with a rare brain disease is hoping to gain funds for potentially life-saving surgery.

Ella Ford was diagnosed with a Symptomatic Pineal Cystic brain tumour in October 2018, after suffering from severe headaches since January.

The Eden Hill Primary School Year 1 student’s tumour is about 22mm in size.

She also suffers from daily headaches, dizziness, nausea, memory loss, eye pain and blurry vision, speech problems, sleep problems, stuttered speech and more recently, stomach pain.

In September her doctor, who conducted a yearly check-up for her rare genetic mutation condition, did an MRI scan where results showed she had a brain tumour.

However, a few days later, a private paediatrician advised nothing could be done.

Her mother Sarah Colegate saw posts on Facebook about Sydney-based neurosurgeon Dr Charlie Teo’s successful surgeries and subsequently flew over for an appointment on February 5.

She and Ella’s father Tom have started a GoFundMe page which has raised more than $36,500 of their $100,000 goal to fund the surgery.

Ms Colegate said Dr Teo ensured he could operate on Ella once the family had the funds required.

“It was amazing just to know how much love and support we have from family, friends, businesses and just strangers,” she said.

“He is an amazing surgeon so I am very grateful that he said he would do it – I think he will do a good job.

“He has seen the befores and afters of the same thing and how symptoms have just gone after waking up from surgery.”

Ms Colegate said Ella just wanted the tumour out from her brain and the headaches to disappear.

“She started last Wednesday, she didn’t make a full day of school last week…she has done a couple of full days this week,” she said.

“She has got medication kept at school so as long as that medication is kept quite constant, she seems to be OK.

“She loves going to school but she is just so tired.”

She called on the State Government to provide more help to those suffering from the condition as there were too many people diagnosed and something needed to be done.

Visit the GoFundMe page and Wishing Well for Bells Facebook page.