A LITTLE girl who was seriously hurt in a road accident can look forward to a trip to Disneyland thanks to a flood of support from people in South Tyneside.
Jessica Bootes, aged four, has already had a visit from her favourite Disney princesses as she battles back from a serious head injury she suffered when the family car was involved in a pile-up at the Lindisfarne Roundabout, Jarrow, in March.
Her parents, Lisa Orrock and Chris Bootes, have thanked people for their support and say they are stunned by the kindness of well-wishers who want to help their daughter.
A number of fundraising events have already been held to help the family, and more are set to take place to take the youngster, from Harton, South Shields, on a trip to Disneyland when she’s better.
Miss Orrock, 31, said: “It’s going to take a year, to a year-and-a-half for Jessica’s rehabilitation, but it’s something for her too look forward to. It’s going to take at least a year for Jessica’s rehabilitation, so it’s probably unlikely that she will get to go to Disneyland even next year to be honest but we can’t thank people enough for their kindness and support. It’s been overwhelming.”
Jessica is still being treated at Newcastle’s Royal Victoria Infirmary but is allowed home at times, and has been making the most of her time with her family.
She recently had a visit from her favourite Disney princesses, courtesy of two children’s party planning companies.
Miss Orrock said: “She absolutely loved meeting Princess Elsa, from the film Frozen, and Belle, from Sleeping Beauty. It made her day.”
Jessica lost part of her skull in the accident and has paralysis down the right side of her body and a loss of speech. Surgeons hope they will be able to replace the missing piece of her skull at the end of July.
Miss Orrock, 31, said: “We honestly can’t thank people enough for their kindness and support. It’s been overwhelming. We’ve not asked for any of this, but kind people have taken it upon themselves to do this for Jessica.”
Miss Orrock added: “If I could give everyone a hug who has been so kind to us, I would. I want people to know how much their support means to us. We are so touched by it all.”
On Monday, hundreds of pounds were raised by regulars at The Cranny pub, in Sunderland Road, South Shields, with a charity darts match.
Manager Charlotte Bell, isn’t revealing how much has been raised as they’re planning a similar event.
She said: “All the money went into a tin, but we haven’t opened it up yet as we’re planning on doing another event, so we’re waiting until then to reveal the amount. I’ve known the family for years and we just wanted to be able to do something to help out. We’ve all been touched and amazed at how brave Jessica has been.”
A night of live music is also to be held at the Cleadon Club, in Fulwell Avenue, South Shields, on June 14.
Tickets cost £5 and are available from the club. To donate a raffle prize, contact the Gazette on 427 4867.
* A 34-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of causing serious injury by dangerous driving after the crash. He has been released on police bail pending further inquiries until May 17.