Lexi-May's prize trip in Daya's helicopter!
A brave little girl who has battled illness all her life had her spirits lifted sky high when she took off on a helicopter trip generously donated as an auction prize.
Seven-year-old Lexi-May, who has cystic fibrosis, was waved off from Seckford Hall Hotel, Woodbridge, on a 15 minute trip that took her to Ipswich for a birds-eye view of the family home in Sorrel Close.
She was joined in the air by her mum Toni Newton, 26, and five-year-old sister Amelia.
The helicopter ride had been the star lot in a charity auction organised by mother-of-two Gemma Read to raise funds for the Bergholt children’s ward at Ipswich hospital.
She said: “My daughter Nevaeh was cared for at the hospital when she had pneumonia at the age of two.
“I have raised money for them ever since and this year I held a dinner/dance at Seckford Golf Club with a charity raffle and auction, raising £3,089, my biggest amount to date.”
The helicopter trip, which raised £860 at auction, was bought by friends Gareth Clement and James Hudson who then donated it to Lexi-May when they heard about her story.
Mrs Read’s friend Carly Potter, a support worker at the Kingsley Woodbridge Lodge care home, had written to Kingsley Healthcare’s CEO Daya Thayan to request a prize and was thrilled when he offered the use of his helicopter and pilot Dougie Reid.
She said: “It was amazing, I can’t thank him enough.”
Mrs Newton said: “Lexi-May was so excited, her face was a picture. It was great to look down on where we live.
“She is such a brave little girl. She has to undergo physio four times a day and take lots of medication. She has to go into hospital every three months for up to three weeks.”
The trip was rounded off by afternoon tea donated by the hotel.
Mrs Read said: “Everyone has been so generous. I would particularly like to thank Samuel David Construction, of Woodbridge, who sponsored the dinner dance.”