A Bideford family have been completely overwhelmed by the kind donations of strangers after a 14-year-old schoolboy had a sudden brain haemorrhage.
Bideford College pupil Frankie Fry had to be rushed to hospital after suffering the haemorrhage overnight, and looks likely to remain at Bristol Children’s Hospital for some weeks.
While he appears to have woken up without any visible problems, he will need further tests and treatments, and is facing surgery to try to ease the blood which has formed on his brain.
His mum Nikki Scilly has been at his bedside every night and therefore unable to work, so Frankie’s aunt Andie Scilly set up a crowdfunding page hoping to raise £300 to ease the burden.
But Andie said she was lost for words when the page hit its target in less than half-an-hour – and the grant total now stands at more than £3,200.
Andie, who lives in Bideford, said she couldn’t put into words the relief the family felt, as Nikki faces weeks at Frankie’s bedside without being able to work.
“A lot of people who we don’t even know donated and it’s just been phenomenal,” she said.
“It’s given me goosebumps just talking about it; I thought we might just reach £300 but I never expected anything like this.”
Frankie woke up on August 23 unable to form proper speech, and his mum quickly called an ambulance.
It is thought Frankie’s haemorrhage was caused by an arteriovenous malformation (AVM) which is an abnormal tangle of blood vessels.
The youngster was rushed to A&E and later transferred to Bristol Children’s Hospital – despite the ambulance suffering a tyre blow-out on the way, and the motorway being shut to transfer Frankie to a different ambulance.
“It has just been an awful time,” Andie said.
“Frankie lost his father suddenly when he was nine-years-old and Nikki is on her own.
“I’m not well myself and wanted to do something, which is why I set up the justgiving page.
“Nikki was reluctant at first but now she is a completely different person knowing she doesn’t have to worry as much about not being able to work.
“I just can’t quite put into words how much it means to the whole family.”