We’re right behind you Katie

Family touched by show of support for poorly teenager.

PEOPLE in Barnstaple have been showing their support for a seriously ill teenager awaiting a double lung transplant.

Two fundraising events took place in the town last week for 14-year-old Katie Gammon, who battles for every breath because of cystic fibrosis.

On Thursday, pupils at Ashleigh Primary School took turns to complete laps of the school playground, while on Saturday, nearly 140 people took part in an organised walk along the Tarka Trail.

Dad Andy Gammon said Katie was feeling poorly on the day of the walk but was determined to take part herself.

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He said: “Katie wasn’t very well and was coughing up blood but she was adamant she was going to do it and managed to get half-way before I picked her up and took her back to the finish line.”

On her blog, entitled ‘My Life with cystic fibrosis’, Katie wrote: “I wasn’t feeling well at all but I wasn’t going to let CF beat me that day; everyone was there for me so I wanted to be there.

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“It was a really great day; I went sleep early that night and slept all night. Normally I wake up with pain and can’t breathe but I didn’t.”

The family said they have been amazed by the show of support.

Mum Angie Hart said the family was touched by the turnout: “It was brilliant; Katie couldn’t believe all the people came for her.”

Andy said: “It was a truly emotional day for us seeing so many people prepared to do something to help out. We can’t thank people enough.”

The money raised will help pay for a special mobility scooter for Katie and the family hope that when all the funds are collected in the next couple of weeks, there will be enough left over to buy a spirometer for the Caroline Thorpe Children’s Ward at North Devon District Hospital.

The family also thanked Austin Wallas, who helped organise the walk, Braunton Mobility for loaning Katie a scooter; Bookers for supplying water and orange juice; and Barnstaple Round Table for their �750 donation towards Katie’s new scooter.

The North Devon Gazette has launched Katie’s Appeal to urge readers to sign the organ donor register today and help save a life tomorrow.

With your help, we can increase the number of people on the local register and offer hope to Katie and others awaiting organ transplants.

Currently around 10,000 people need a transplant in the UK and three people die waiting every day. To add your name to the Organ Donor Register, visit www.organdonation.nhs.uk, telephone 0300 123 2323 or text JOIN to 84880.

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