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Newmarket youngster Millie making progress after shock stroke aged just three

A Newmarket couple say they have been overwhelmed by the kindness and generosity shown to them after their happy and healthy three-year-old daughter suffered a stroke.

Dan Lebbon and Alice Morrison’s world fell apart one day in August 2022 after Millie started to feel poorly. Her condition worsened overnight and she was taken by ambulance to Addenbrooke’s Hospital, in Cambridge, where a CT scan revealed the shocking diagnosis of a stroke, something they had no idea could happen to a child.

As the little girl’s condition deteriorated, she had to undergo emergency surgery to relieve pressure on her brain which involved the removal of almost half her skull before she was put into an induced coma for a week with her parents having no idea of what the long-term effects of the severe brain damage might be.

Millie Lebbon with her parents Dan and Alice
Millie Lebbon with her parents Dan and Alice

When she came round she was unable to talk and had no movement on her right side but, from that very bleak time, the amazing care she received and her own incredible determination set her on the road to recovery.

“In October, she went to a specialist rehab clinic in Surrey, The Children’s Trust, where she stayed for 16 weeks and they worked wonders with her,” said Dan.

It was a hard time for the family with Alice staying in Surrey with Millie, while Dan and Millie’s twin brother George stayed at home with their older brother Andrew.

The family was reunited in February last year and now, just 12 months after leaving The Children’s Trust, Millie and George, who are now five, both attend St Andrew’s Primary School in Soham where Dan is a teacher.

Millie has made remarkable progress but she still faces a number of challenges and, after a suggestion from a colleague at school, Dan and Alice set up a justgiving page to help fund equipment for their daughter.

They were astonished at the response and in no time at all had raised the initial £1,500 to buy a piece of equipment which links sensors on Millie’s weak right arm to an iPad which encourages and rewards certain movements.

The donations kept coming in and they have been able to buy Millie an adapted tricycle and to look at at various therapy options which would have been out of their reach before.

Millie is now able to talk and walk again, but because she needs a splint on her right leg, every time she outgrows her shoes, two pairs have to be bought in different sizes to accommodate it.

As well as donations on justgiving, the family has received cash donations, with a sponsored danceathon at the children’s school raising £1,300 and inspiring more gifts online.

“We have been absolutely overwhelmed by the innate generosity and kindness of people, many of whom we don’t even know,” said Andrew. “They have opened so many doors for Millie that would not have been open without them.”

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This QR code provides a link to both the justgiving page and to a video showing the progress Millie has made over the past year.