Appeal to help paralysed Stevenage girl, 16, walk again reaches target

Ellie Dean is determined to walk again after she was left paralysed following surgery to remove a ma

Ellie Dean is determined to walk again after she was left paralysed following surgery to remove a massive tumour from her lung. Picture: Dean family. - Credit: Archant

An appeal to raise £10,000 to help a 16-year-old girl to walk again, after surgery to remove a tumour left her paralysed, has reached its target just two days after her plight was featured in the Comet.

Last week we reported how Ellie Dean, who lives in Stevenage, was 14 when she was told she had a massive tumour inside her lung.

With doctors unable to reassure her that she would not die, Ellie had emergency surgery at Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge to remove part of the tumour that was compressing her spine.

A few weeks later, the whole tumour – the size of a watermelon – was successfully removed during an 11-hour operation. However, during this second operation in October 2015, Ellie suffered a rapid aortic bleed and was left paralysed from the waist down.

She has struggled for more than two years to relearn how to do simple tasks, such as sitting up and dressing herself, and has found it understandably difficult to remain positive.

But, having met people who have recovered from the same injury, Ellie and her family started an appeal this month to raise £10,000 for intensive physiotherapy at a specialised centre in the United States, in a bid to help Ellie walk again.

Donations have been flooding in from family, friends and total strangers wanting to show their support, including two anonymous contributions of £500 each. There was also a £100 donation from the family of former Stevenage mayor Sherma Batson, who was a people’s champion before she died suddenly in January last year, aged just 59.

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Ellie’s fundraising target has now been surpassed and the total currently stands at more than £11,000.

Ellie said: “Wow! I can’t believe I’ve reached my target. Thanks to every single one of you who has donated. I’ve been so touched by all the lovely and heart-warming comments. It’s so nice to know I’ve got so much support behind me. Thank you all again. It’s really going to help.”

She added: “The physio gym in America has amazing and advanced equipment. It’s a great opportunity and will give me the best chance of recovery to go out there.”

You can still support Ellie by making a donation at

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