'She loves to socialise': bid to brighten Syesha's life

Sylvia Connolly, right, with Syesha who suffers from spina bifida and paralysis, and older daughter Teearnna. Picture: GREG TOTMAN

Sylvia Connolly, right, with Syesha who suffers from spina bifida and paralysis, and older daughter Teearnna. Picture: GREG TOTMAN

Albion Park Rail mother Sylvia Connolly is praying a community fund-raiser can provide her family with a wheelchair-accessible vehicle so she can take her little girl on outings.

Five-year-old Syesha was born with spina bifida and hydrocephalus and is paralysed from the waist down.

Her mother can no longer lift her in and out of her small two-door car and is hopeful that the trivia night and auction being organised by Oak Flats Lions Club will help fund some new wheels.

"Syesha will be in a wheelchair for the rest of her life," Ms Connolly said.

"Up until now I've been lifting her out of the wheelchair and into the car but she's a big girl - about 42 kilos - and I can't carry her any more because I've got a lower back injury.

"I'd love to have a car with wheelchair access that she could wheel herself into and we could strap her straight in.

"It would also help give her a little bit more independence."

Ms Connolly said a bus picked Syesha up to take her to Peterborough special school at Warilla, and she used taxis to get her to medical appointments.

"Apart from that Syesha is basically housebound," she said. "She's a really outgoing little girl and she loves to socialise and I'd really love to be able to take her to community events and on trips," Ms Connolly said.

The single mother found out she was having her second daughter when she was already seven-and-a-half months pregnant.

Scans showed the baby had spina bifida - when the spinal column does not close all the way - and hydrocephalus, or fluid on the brain.

The fund-raiser is on October 24 at the Albion Park Bowling Club. Contact 0435 311 625 or 0413 597 424 for details.

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