A BRAVE former Worcester mum has lit the fuse on a unique firework fund-raiser after she was forced to postpone life-saving surgery.
Rachel and Guy Pighills have made a plea for people to donate the cost of a single firework – £5 – to her fight for life to raise the £350,000 needed for surgery in New York.
The caring couple have so far raised in excess of £36,000 and hope to attract a fiver from 60,000 people to smash the target and give Rachel a future with devoted husband Guy and her daughter.
It will cost £45,000 to get to New York on a specialist flight with a doctor on board and the couple are targeting a revised January 2022 date for the operation after postponing an October slot with Dr Paolo Bolognese.
“Fireworks cost an average of five pounds each and the thrill only lasts for a few seconds…some might say it is like burning money,” Guy said.
“As an alternative to burning cash on November 5 we invite you to spend a fiver to make a Gift of Life.
“We have already raised an incredible amount thanks to your wonderful generosity, for which we are forever grateful. Please can we ask you one more time to help us in the final push to get Rachel to New York,” he added.
Rachel suffers from atlantoaxial instability, which means her spine partially dislocates each time she turns her head to the left, increasing her risk of paralysis. Should it fully dislocate, Rachel will die.
The Observer reported in October 2019 on Rachel and her husband Guy’s desperate race to fund the £135,000 needed for life-saving surgery in Barcelona.
In January 2020, Rachel underwent an Occipital Spinal Fusion with Posterior Fossa Decompression in the UK.
Whilst Rachel’s situation initially seemed promising at the time, her health rapidly began to deteriorate.
Heartbreakingly, it has now emerged her surgery had failed and the painkillers were merely suppressing her central nervous system and masking the symptoms.
Rachel now needs to undergo a combination of consecutive and very complex brain and spinal surgeries, to save her life.
Dr Bolognese, is a leading neurosurgeon based in New York, and is the only neurosurgeon in the world who is experienced and willing to help Rachel, as the complexities of her case have progressed.
“We are devastated we have had to postpone surgery, as Rachel is deteriorating rapidly as each day goes by,” Guy said.
“The longer her brainstem is left compressed the less chances of it making a recovery.”
The plea for help comes nearly four years after Rachel first ill, though the gravity of her situation was only fully revealed in July 2019.
Anyone with fund-raising ideas or who is able to get in touch to help the devoted couple in their hour of need is asked to get in touch via their ‘ Rachel’s Fight for Life’ Facebook page.
Visit www.gofundme.com/f/q8tc99-rachels-fight-for-life for more.