A QUEENSFERRY couple are hoping to raise £20,000 to help families with young children who have an undiagnosed eating disorder.
Lesley (35) and Justin Gould (40), who live at Lang Rigg, have a daughter, Hannah, who suffered from this condition.
Following tests at just six weeks old, Hannah was suspected of having a cow’s milk protein allergy which led to her having severe reflux which, in turn, made it very uncomfortable for her to feed.
This resulted in Hannah being given nutrition via a tube. This, however, made her nauseous and a tube was inserted into her stomach,
Mum Lesley (35) decided to look for alternative help. And, after searching the Internet, she found families in America who had children with similar disorders and who put their faith in Markus Wilken, a developmental psychologist who specialised in treating babies and children with feeding disorders.
Although based in Germany, he visits families all over the world. Wilken came to Queensferry in May to assess Hannah and returned in June for a week to undertake his specialist treatment.
Now Hannah no longer needs a tube to give her nutrition and is on the road to full health.
Lesley, a teacher in Edinburgh, said: “Hannah had the feeding tube in her tummy for six months and while it was a lot less traumatic than the nasal gastric tube, it still meant we had to feed her both day and night.
‘‘When Markus came over for the week, his aim was to reduce the amount of tube-fed nutrition in order to make her more hungry.
‘‘Within three days she was starting to take her milk through a bottle although she initially lost the means to suck.”
She added: “While Markus’s treatment proved successful, we always kept the hospital involved in what we were doing and the doctors have said they may look at this treatment in the future.
“So far we have raised over £11,000, which includes our treatment costs, but we want to reach £20,000 to allow other families the opportunity to do what we have done.”
Lesley aims to start a support group for families who have children with eating disorders. She has also given talks about Hannah’s treatment.
The treatment does not come cheap, costing over £6000 but thanks to family, friends, various fundraising ventures and SKY in Livingston, which match-funded their total, Lesley and Justin raised the sum and more. Radio Forth was touched by Hannah’s story and has set up an online appeal.
A charity golf match was staged in Kinross which raised over £500 and a bag packing session is planned for Tesco in Queensferry next Saturday, August 4, from 10am to 4pm.
Future fundraising events include a hike and bike event in September, from Fort Augustus to Inverness and back to Queensferry.
If you would like to donate check out the Forth One website or if your family is in a similar situation, you can contact Lesley on 07931 309866.