plea for help by donating almost £30,000 to pay for her three-year-old daughter
to have an operation to help her walk.
Chris and Colin Weir, who scooped a record
£161million Euromillions jackpot in July 2011, dipped into their huge fortune
to pay for spastic diplegic cerebral palsy sufferer Skye Swinton to pay for
She had expected her letter to be
‘politely binned’ but was stunned when she received a phone call telling her
that the pair, from Largs in North Ayrshire, were happy to donate £28,000.
Ecstatic Ruth, a former teacher and now
full-time carer to Skye, said: ‘It is just unbelievable and we are so
‘I sent the letter months ago and so I just
thought it would have been politely binned, so to get the phone call with the
news was just fantastic.
Born 13 weeks early and weighing a tiny 1lb
15oz, Skye’s condition has left her confined to a wheelchair for much of her
She is unsteady on her feet and unable to go any
distance without tiring and dreams of walking and running like other children.
Skye’s family and friends managed to raise
£12,000 towards their target of £40,000 but were still £28,000 short until
Ruth’s heartfelt letter persuaded generous Chris and Colin to part with the
remainder of the cash.
It is hoped that Skye, from Cheltenham
Gloucestershire, will undergo delicate surgery – which involves partially
cutting the nerve roots where they join the spinal cord – next summer pending
vital medical assessments.
An initial assessment, scans and x-rays will
cost the family £800, with the operation priced at £23,500 and subsequent
physiotherapy, expected to last two years, will cost around £15,000.
Without surgery now, the youngster would need
major orthopaedic surgery by the time she turns 10 or 11.
Ruth, who is married to Skye’s father John, also
38, said: ‘There are still a number of medical hurdles to overcome, but now
that we have raised the money we need, we can now concentrate on helping Skye
reach her full potential.
‘We were absolutely blown away with the support
we’ve had, and the generosity we have been shown.’
The family will continue fundraising in aid of
Skye and will use the additional money to help her during her rehabilitation
with planned fundraising events still to go ahead.
In a statement, Mr and Mrs Weir said: ‘Skye
faces many challenges in the next year and she needs her mum and dad to be
focused on her. That’s why we’ve given a donation.
‘Without the additional worry and pressure of
fundraising, their time can be spent on Skye.’
Mr and Mrs Weir have shown enormous generosity
since winning their vast fortune.
They donated their former £180,000 home to their
neighbours after buying their new home and sponsored 15-year-old Scottish
racing driver Gregor Ramsey in the European and Italian Formula 3 events.
Mr Weir, a former Scottish TV cameraman, donated
£750,000 to his local football team, Largs Thistle, to pay off some of the
club’s debt and improve facilities.
In August the couple also donated a five-figure
sum to buy a prosthetic limb for cancer victim Kieran Maxwell, 13, of
Heighington, near Darlington.
They also pledged £900,000 towards a new
£1.2million multi-use sports arena in their home town and helped talented young
artist Lee Craigmile pay his fees to study in Italy.
Mr and Mrs Weir payed a seven figure sum to the
Scottish National Party to help fund its campaign for independence from the
rest of the UK.
They have also personally enjoyed their
winnings, applying for planning permission to build a luxury indoor swimming
pool, jacuzzi and conservatory at their home.