New hope for two-year-old Imogen after £20K fundraising joy

Imogen Holmes with her parents Briony Winstanley and  Stephen Holmes.
Imogen Holmes with her parents Briony Winstanley and Stephen Holmes.

THE parents of a two-year-old girl with severe cerebral palsy have thanked supporters of a £20,000 appeal as they prepare to travel to Central America where she will undergo specialist stem cell treatment.

Imogen Holmes suffers from spastic quadriplegic cerebral palsy, which has left her unable to speak and with only limited use of her arms and legs.

Her parents Briony Winstanley, 22 and Stephen Holmes, 26, of Hemsworth, flew to Panama on Saturday with Imogen for treatment at the Stem Cell Institute.

The eight-day trip follows a successful bid to raise £20,000 to fund the treatment, which the family hope will see Imogen make some progress towards walking and talking.

An online appeal was launched and fundraising events included a family fun day at the The Hut community centre in Airedale, Castleford, last May, which raised more than £2,500.

The fun day was organised by family friend Chris Doyle, who describes Imogen as “a bright-eyed, gorgeous little girl who brings joy to everyone who sees her”.

Of the fundraiser, he said: “The weather was amazing, the turnout was fantastic and we smashed our £2,000 target.”

Imogen’s father Stephen Holmes, said: “It’s mind-blowing that people have given so much to the appeal.

“For Imogen, this is life changing.

“It could achieve her walking unaided, it could achieve her talking. If it means her saying a few words it would mean a lot.”

Imogen’s grandmother Pauline Winstanley, 56, of Knottingley, said: “It’s amazing that she is going to Panama and getting the chance to have this treatment.”

“I would like to say a big thank you to everyone who has supported the appeal, we couldn’t have done it without them.”

Imogen underwent an MRI scan before being diagnosed with cerebral palsy in June 2017. - just over a week after her first birthday.