A SUPERMODEL played superhero for a family trying to help their little girl walk pain-free after her huge donation brought their dream to life.
Maya Henry (below), who is dating ex-One Direction singer Liam Payne, gave Nicole and Sander Royers £16,000 of the £20,000 needed for an operation to solve two-year-old daughter Amelia’s rare spinal condition.
The 19-year-old American, who recently moved to London, heard about the family’s fundraising efforts to tackle Amelias sringomyelia and decided to help.
Amelia was up and about just hours after surgery and Nicole said she was so much happier.
She said Maya’s donation had left her gobsmacked, adding: “We couldn’t be more thankful to her and everyone in the community who helped us reach the £20,000 fundraising target.”
Sringomyelia forms a cyst on the spinal cord and affected the nerves in Amelia’s legs, causing her pain when she tries to walk, as well as complications with her bowels and bladder.
After her diagnosis, doctors told Nicole (23) and Sander (43) that she would need an operation but only a few doctors in the UK fully understood the condition.
They found a surgeon in Barcelona who said he could perform the surgery and the family's desperate efforts to raise the cash began.
The couple said they were stunned when the model and social media star contacted them and pledged a bumper donation to pave the way for the operation.
“We had done a lot of fundraising events over the last six months and raised around £4,000, but it wasn’t until we held an event at Montgomery Hall in Wath that things took a surprising turn,” said Nicole.
The mum, of Westfield Crescent, said the hall’s manager knew Maya’s grandad and was able to pass on a message to the star.
To their surprise, she donated enough cash for the family to reach their fundraising target.
The family flew out to Barcelona at the end of August and Amelia had the surgery two days later.
Nicole added: “The surgery was such a big success and there were no complications - we couldn’t believe just days later our daughter was going up and down stairs, something she’s never done before.”
Amelia stayed at the hospital in Barcelona for six nights before jetting home.
Nicole said her daughter had no longer been constipated, as before, and had no pain at all.
“The change in her was amazing,” said Nicole.
“We’re just so happy we no longer have to worry about doing simple things like going shopping - we cannot thank everyone enough for their support and donations.”
Nicole said she had been in regular contact with Maya to let her know about her daughter’s progress and planned a get-together for them soon.
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