Little Olivia gets backing from Red Lodge community

Rochelle Reeves and her daughter Olivia ANL-160726-115154001
Rochelle Reeves and her daughter Olivia ANL-160726-115154001

A community is rallying round to help buy a special piece of equipment for a little girl who was born with parts of her brain undeveloped.

Olivia Reeves, aged two, has semilobar holoprosencephaly and six other conditions which her mother Rochelle says mean she has the abilities of a three-month old baby. She has been in and out of West Suffolk and Great Ormond Street Hospitals all her short life.

Olivia Reeves ANL-160726-115205001

Olivia Reeves ANL-160726-115205001

Rochelle, from Red Lodge, said: “She can only communicate with her eyes but all she does is smile.

“She’s very clever and remembers who everyone is.”

But because Olivia cannot use her arms and legs, or even support herself to sit up in an ordinary chair, she is robbed of sensory inputs.

Rochelle wants to get her a piece of sensory equipment that uses lights, mirrors, bubble lamps and fibre optics to provide Olivia with the stimulation and motivation she needs.

Olivia cannot lay on her back, but the device allows its images and lights to be projected anywhere, even onto the floor, so whatever position she lays in she will be able to experience it.

Rochelle said: “That costs £5,000 – it’s too expensive for me as a single mum with three children to do on my own.”

But friends, family and the community have taken up the cause.

Olivia’s 16-year-old brother Conor and five friends are planning a sponsored cycle ride to London and back and friend Mick Bradshaw has organised a golf day.

But the big event is a family fun day on August 14 at Red Lodge’s Millenium Community Centre from 1pm with pony rides, a bouncy castle, cake stall and barbecue during the day and evening entertainment for the adults.

Many of the people who are backing the fund raising follow Olivia’s story on Facebook and the family have set up a crowd funding Just Giving page for donations at https://crowdfunding.justgiving.com/rochelle-reeves