A YOUNG girl’s family have made plans to adapt their family home following a successful fundraising mission.
Betsy Johnson, eight-year-old, of Park Road, was starved of oxygen for 16 minutes when she was born after her mum, Beth Pollock, endured a number of complications during labour.
Betsy was rushed straight to the intensive care unit at Jessops in Sheffield, where her dad, Chris Johnson, spent the next fortnight by her bedside while Beth recovered at Barnsley Hospital.
Now living with cerebral palsy and being unable to walk, Betsy’s family decided to set up a fundraiser to raise money to have a lift installed at their home - giving Betsy the independence she’s always dreamed of.
Family friend Emma Day, alongside four others, set up a Just Giving page in February, hoping to raise £20,000 for Betsy and her family.
After having reached that goal in just two-and-a-half weeks, Betsy’s parents have started putting plans in place to have a lift installed at their home.
“We literally couldn’t believe how quickly we managed to raise all that money - the generosity from friends, family and the wider community has been overwhelming,” Beth told the Chronicle.
“So far, we’ve managed to raise £23,355 and we’ll be using the spare money to have other adaptations in our home, including sensory toilets, a wet room and a specialist shower.
“We’ve booked a builder to come and do our extension in September, so hopefully, we should have the lift installed by Christmas, or just after all the work has been done.”
Chris and Beth received a grant from Barnsley Council three years ago, but the planning permission they secured is due to expire later this year, spurring Betsy’s family into this fundraising mission.
Emma said: “Chris and Beth had been saving up for years, but because the funds for the work hadn’t quite been raised and work hadn’t been able to start, that permission will soon expire.
“Having a lift installed will bring Betsy so much independence - it will be life changing.
“It’ll mean that her parents won’t have to carry her upstairs anymore.”
Beth added: “Betsy is just the most amazing little girl - her smile lights up every room.
“She’s so excited to be able to get around the house a bit more independently and go up to her bedroom by herself, without relying on us to carry her up.
“When I told Betsy about these adaptations, her face literally lit up.
“We just can’t thank everyone enough for being so generous and making this possible for us as a family.
“Times are hard - everyone’s bills are going up and everything is expensive, so to have reached our target in such a short period of time is honestly just amazing - we are beyond grateful.
“We feel blessed that we are able to support Betsy and give her the independence she’s always wanted.”