Support sought for young Sarah Summerly

Support sought for young Sarah Summerly


A campaign has be launched to help raise funds for a an 18-month-old girl who needs lifesaving surgery.

Sarah Summerly was born in June 2019 with OEIS complex, a rare combination of serious birth defects resulting in her liver, intestines and bladder developing outside her body.

To complicate matters, she also has a severe form of Spina Bifida and clubbed feet. Sarah is lucky she survived, is unable to walk and requires intense care.

A GoFundMe page has been established by a family friend in an effort to gather support and the finance required for Sarah’s operations.

Campaign organiser Padraigh Sutton said: “Sarah is an amazing child that has overcome so much in a short time. She lives in Ennis, Co. Clare with her Mum and Dad, Michelle and Ger, and her brother Tony and sister Rosemary. Due to the level of one on one care that Sarah needs, Michelle, provides full time care.

Having beaten the odds and survived, the aim for Sarah has now shifted to improving her quality of life and providing a higher level of physical and social independence.”

In order to achieve these goals Sarah will undergo multiple reconstructive surgeries at different stages throughout her life. As the surgical repair is so challenging, it requires teams of doctors with specialised international expertise.

Sarah will have two major surgeries this year in the United Kingdom.

The first surgery is in February 2021 will take place in the Royal Manchester Children’s hospital where they will break open Sarah’s pelvis, place her liver, bladder and intestines inside her body and then complete whatever additional reconstructive surgery they can. The surgery will take up to fifteen hours and will result in hospital admission and intensive care for eight to ten weeks.

The second surgery is planned for later in the year in Great Ormond Street children’s hospital in London. This surgery will address the damage to Sarah’s spine. This surgery presents significant risk, but it will give Sarah the best chance at sitting unaided and developing and growing.

Michelle and Ger will be with her in the U.K. for these surgeries and this obviously brings overwhelming financial challenges.

Sarah will be a lifetime wheelchair user and it is planned to provide her with a wheelchair suitable to her needs towards the end of 2021.

With this in mind, Sarah’s home will be adapted to make it wheelchair accessible. This will include constructing a room suitable to Sarah’s needs. This room will contain a wet room and wash facilities. It’s yet another challenge that face her Mom and Dad.

Padraigh Sutton added: “Family, friends, colleagues and the wider community want to show the Summerly’s we have their backs. The challenges they face are immense and reducing the financial worries and helping them focus on their amazing daughter is what this project is all about.”