PRESS RELEASE: A small girl, trapped in a wheelchair due to her illness and operations, needs the help of supporters to be able to walk again

The Tartu University Children’s Foundation has once again started a campaign, that has a goal to help a child with a mobility disabilty walk again, through consistent and intensive physiotherapy. This year, the Foundation, along with the support of good people, wishes to help 9-year old Hanna-Liisa, who currently is trapped in a wheelchair.

Hanna-Liisa is a severely disabled child, who was born with spinal hernia and hydrocephalus. She was operated due to the hernia when she was only one day old, and was diagnosed with Arnold-Chiar syndrome in the newborn department of the hospital. This is a rare genetic malformation, which means that some parts of the persons brain have not developed properly.

Despite the fact that children with spinal hernias are in the danger of being paralyzed, and hydrocephalus could cause in infantilism, the girl evolved totally according to her age. She has undergone about ten operations during her lifetime, including spinal- and head operations, and a shunt has been placed in her brain.

A year ago, Hanna-Liisa was able to walk with the help of orthoses – special leg supports. Recently however she needed operations on both her knees, due to which she is now confined to a wheelchair. Another spinal operation is coming in the near future. In order for her to be able to walk after the operations, it is very important that she recieves daily physiotherapy during a certaion period. Unfortunately The Republic of Estonia is not capable of providing physiotherapy to disabled children to such extent, that’s why the Children’s Foundation has started a project „Hanna-Liisa to walk again!“, to enable her to recieve the needed therapy with the support of donators.

The Foundation is collecting donations to pay for Hanna-Liisa’s consistent and intensive physiotherapy, related transportation costs, and the services of a support person. In addition to physiotherapist Merlin Burov, Hanna-Liisa will also be trained by disabled athlete and trainer of disabled people Randel Peerna. Fitlap OÜ’s consultant Heikki Mägi will support Hanna-Liisa’s recovery with free nutritional counseling.

Peetri Jooks, along with patron Roald Johannson has also given Hanna-Liisa their helping hand: In cooperation with Apollo Movie Theatre, donations to support Hanna-Liisa will be collected during the charitable run Peetri Jooks, taking place on the 19. of August. „I see great big internal will in Hanna-Liisa to want to be able to walk again. If we all support the toughness and perseverance of the little girl, we can overcome all obstacles. I am sure that sooner or later she will be walking on her own two feet again“, said the patron of the charitable run Roald Johannson.

In May of last year, the Children’s Foundation started a similar campaign with Kerttu Jukkum. That time the campaign „Jan to walk again!“ collected donations to support 8-year old Jan.

„Because Jan’s project was a success – the boy has made six first independent steps, we decided to offer a similar chance to more children,“ according to Küllike Saar, the strategic manager of the Children’s Foundation. „Although Jan doesn’t completely walk on his own yet, his progress has been huge, which is a proof that if you intensively invest in every disabled child’s physiotherapy, it is possible to substantially, if not cardinally change the quality of life for these children!“

Although Jan’s project was supposed to last a year, the Foundation decided to extend it, enabling Jan to continually recieve physiotherapy. „The goal is to get Jan and Hanna-Liisa to walk completely on their own. But for that we need the help of all our donators,“ says Küllike Saar, and encourages everyone to support Hanna-Liisa.

The Tartu University Hospital Children’s Foundation is one of the oldest and largest nationwide charitable organisations in Estonia, which from the year 2000 has, along with the donators, supported different hospitals in purchasing equipment, also children in need of special treatment and care and their families by a total of 3 million euros. You can also help children in need of treatment by becoming a permanent donator of the Children’s Foundation at http://lastefond.ee/vormista-pusiannetus . To apply for a donation or to let us know about someone in need please send us an e-mail to info@lastefond.ee.