KIND-HEARTED Ballymoney folk are rallying behind a young couple’s fight to raise enough money to fly their disabled daughter to London for a consultation with the world’s best doctors.
Little Aaliyah Cochrane is unable to walk or communicate and despite dozens of consultations with doctors across Northern Ireland her parents Aaron and Kim have yet to be given a reason why.
The four-year-old has lacked motor-neurone functions since birth and requires round-the-clock attention.
She has undergone numerous medical assessments - including MRI scans - but as yet the cause of her condition remains a mystery.
Aaron said a diagnosis would enable doctors to finally begin focusing on delivering the specific care required for the cause of Aaliyah’s condition.
And he hopes experts at the world-renowned children’s hospital Great Ormond Street in London can help.
However, as Aaliyah has not been diagnosed with a specific condition the NHS won’t cough up to fly the family to England for a consultation.
But kind-hearted friends and family in the Cochrane’s home town have been digging deep.
A poker night held earlier this month raked in over £600 and a creamery can set out at Ma Kellys Bar in the town is said to be brimming with notes since the Times featured the story last month.
Kim said: “We want to thank everyone who has been so supportive to date with Aaliyah.
“Our friends and family have been there for us throughout.
“Also a massive thanks to Liz Lamont at Ma Kellys for holding the poker night and Jimmy Morrison who organised it.”
“Since birth Aaliyah has had a lot of development problems,” Aaron said.
“But despite everything they have tried they can’t get a diagnosis.
“Two MRI scans have come back clear.
“We have exhausted everything as have the medical professionals.
“Aaliyah can’t walk, she has no motor skills, she can’t really do anything herself.
“She has no communication ability whatsoever or co-ordination.
“She had quite a traumatic birth and we were aware of the problems early on but the doctors thought she would improve as she got older.
“But progress has been very, very slow.”
Aaliyah attends a physiotherapy session every week as well as regular speech and occupational therapist appointments.
Kim is a full-time carer to her daughter as well as looking after the couple’s other daughter, Mia (2).
Aaron said a diagnosis could be life-changing for the whole family:
“I always think it’s a good sign when things come back clear but in the end you want to know what you are dealing with so you can move forward.”
An Easter egg draw is planned to further boost the cause.
To find out how you can help little Aaliyah contact Liz on 028 2766 4477.