Stevenage teenager has long locks chopped off to raise money for Great Ormond Street Hospital
PUBLISHED: 08:30 26 September 2018
A teenager has had 24 inches of her hair cut off to raise money for Great Ormond Street Hospital after her niece's life was saved by doctors there.
Carly Bays, 19, had the radical haircut on Friday at Top Knots hair salon, within David Lloyd on Stevenage Lesiure Park, raising more than £500 for GOSH and donating her long locks to cancer charity the Little Princess Trust to be made into a wig for a child who has had chemotherapy.
Carly’s niece, Mia, was born with gastroschisis - a birth defect where the baby is born with their intestines and other organs outside of their body.
She spent the first three months of her life in an incubator at GOSH, having multiple life-saving operations and round-the-clock care.
Carly, who lives in Stevenage, said: “I can’t put into words how heartbreaking it was seeing her tiny body poked with needles and covered head-to-toe in wires and bandages.
“It’s an awful feeling to spend months worrying that somebody you love could die at any moment.
“Almost five years later, she is now a beautiful, happy, thriving little girl who is healthy.
“Mia has returned to GOSH many times over the years to have check-ups and operations to keep her healthy.
“Without GOSH she would not be with us today. My family owes so much to them, and so do many others.”
Carly has so far raised more than £500 for the London hospital, with donations still coming in.
About the radical haircut, she said: “I had been growing my hair for a very long time and had only had small trims since the age of 13, so this was a huge deal to me. “My hair has been my absolute pride and joy since I was little. It has been my identity. Learning to love myself and the way I look even without my hair is going to be really tough.
“My hair has brought me happiness and it is wonderful to share that happiness with somebody else who needs it.
“Please also help me to raise some more money for the hard-working doctors, nurses and surgeons at GOSH who help to keep many children like Mia alive.
“Hopefully the money raised can help them save more lives.”
You can still make donations on Carly’s fundraising page at justgiving.com/fundraising/carly-bays9
For more about GOSH, visit gosh.org