Derby

Kareena Hayes: Girl given £10,000 to help her walk

Kareena Hayes
Image caption Kareena said she thought the thief was "horrible" to steal the money earmarked for her treatment

A girl who needs surgery to help her walk again has been given £10,000 by an anonymous donor after thieves stole a collection box set up to help her.

Kareena Hayes, nine, of Long Eaton, Derbyshire, needs £30,000 to pay for an operation and physiotherapy to treat complications caused by cerebral palsy.

Her father Craig Hammond said Kareena was "thrilled to bits" as the operation could now go ahead.

The charity box was stolen from a cafe in Borrowash last week.

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Mr Hammond, who is her full-time carer, said the operation was her only chance to ever walk unaided again.

Image caption Kareena uses a walker to get around but hopes an operation will allow her to walk unaided

He said the public response was "amazing" following the theft. He then received the news a local businessman had approached the Derby Telegraph with the huge donation.

"It was totally out of the blue... a whirlwind," said Mr Hammond.

"It's paid for the operation and physiotherapy and now we can just focus on her."

He said the operation at Nottingham's Queen's Medical Centre is not provided by the NHS.

Mr Hammond added he was "very proud" of his daughter but expected the next stages to be "tough".

Kareena, who uses a walker to get around, was diagnosed with cerebral palsy when she was two years old.

The operation, which involves cutting some of the nerves in the lower spinal column, only became available in the UK 18 months ago, but is not yet offered by the NHS.

Derbyshire Police have said they are investigating the theft of the collection box.

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