Pretty Daisy Briggs, who has spina bifida, hydrocephalus, hip dysplasia and talipes, has been called “an inspiration” by Prime Minister Boris Johnson after walking 25 metres a day with her frame for 64 days during lockdown. The little girl was inspired by Colonel Tom Moore to undertake her own challenge in support of the NHS, which has saved her life on multiple occasions. She wore a different colour of the rainbow for her daily walks and smashed her original fundraising target of £100 - and even did the last walk without her frame.
In a personal letter to Daisy, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: “You are an inspiration! Millions have marvelled at the wonderful Captain Tom bounding around his garden at the age of 100. But today our country takes a moment to marvel at you! I am filled with admiration for the way you have overcome the many challenges before you – and taken your very first independent steps while fundraising for our NHS charities."
“Wearing a different colour of the rainbow every day you have filled us with hope and expressed the appreciation of the nation for all that our amazing NHS has done to defeat Coronavirus. Every day I say thank you to someone in our country for doing something special by naming them a Point of Light. Captain Tom was one of the oldest. You are the youngest ever to receive this honour! So congratulations on becoming the UK’s 1419th Point of Light – and thank you!”
Daisy’s parents, Sean and Rea Briggs, from Sutton, South London, said they were very proud of Daisy. They said: “Raising this money for the NHS has meant the world to us, as they have saved Daisy’s life on multiple occasions so we owe them everything. She has loved every single second of the fundraiser and as her parents, we are so proud of what she has achieved at just 3 years old. Thank you so much for also recognising her achievement.”
Doctors originally gave Rea the option to terminate her pregnancy after being told Daisy would probably be in a vegetative state when she was born and her chances of walking were almost impossible. She had an operation to close her back at St George’s Hospital when she was just 17 hours old. She then caught suspected meningitis a few days later and she was on antibiotics for three weeks. Doctors noticed her head circumference was getting bigger and at four weeks old she had a shunt fitted to drain away the fluid from her brain, caused by her Hydrocephalus. Daisy was finally allowed home from hospital when she was five weeks old. She has since had three brain surgeries.
Rea added: “We started out by aiming to raise some money for the NHS who have really looked after Daisy since she was born and the lockdown for us has been a complete whirlwind. Daisy took her first steps at the start of May and now she is walking on her own a lot. She has worked very hard and it’s so wonderful to see the progress she has made. We are absolutely amazed by how much money Daisy has raised and we would like to thank everyone who has made a donation.”
The money Daisy has raised is going to NHS Charities Together.