Community raises £85,000 for young girl’s life-changing operation

A two-year-old girl from Kent is to undergo a life-changing operation this week, thanks to the fundraising efforts of her family and their local community.

Eliana Farragher from Staplehurst was born prematurely in December 2013. She suffered brain damage that caused serious visual impairment and diplegic cerebral palsy. She was left with limited mobility; excessive stiffness in her leg muscles, along with pain and bone deformities, made it impossible for her to run.

However, Eliana is now in the US, where she’ll be undergoing a corrective spinal cord operation – only available in States, at great expense – that should greatly improve her quality of life.

Eliana’s mother Catherine launched a fundraising campaign in March this year to allow the operation to take place. The funding target of £85,000 was beaten last week.

They were helped over their target by staff and pupils at Saint Ronan’s School in Hawkhurst, who have recorded a new version Keane’s Somewhere Only We Know:


The video for the song has been viewed close to 30,000 times on YouTube. It’s on sale via Spotify and iTunes, with proceeds going towards the ‘Eliana’s wish to run’ campaign.

Writing on Facebook earlier this week, Catherine said: “We are over the moon to have achieved what originally seemed like an impossible target. Thank you to everyone who’s given time, money and support to the campaign.

“With the launch of Somewhere Only We Know sung by the children at Saint Ronan’s School this week, we see an opportunity to help many other children, like Eliana, who may not be eligible for SDR surgery in the UK. Every penny we raise from this point forward can go to help other children in need of this operation.”

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