Telford pupil thanked for fundraising after multi-organ operation

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Tilly raeImage source, PA Media
Image caption,
Jodie said her daughter Tilly Rae had had to deal with a lot of changes in her life

Police officers visited an eight-year-old girl at school to thank her for her charity fundraising while in hospital after a multi-organ transplant.

Tilly Rae, from Telford in Shropshire, was diagnosed with stage-four liver cancer last year.

But she began selling merchandise and donating proceeds and gifts to local children's charities.

West Mercia Police officers surprised "brave and positive" Tilly at Lilleshall Primary School on Thursday.

PC Lee Thomas, PCSOs Krissy Wills and Merrick Liston and Sgt Richard Jones, from the Newport Safer Neighbourhood Team presented her with a cuddly toy embroidered with her name and her special slogan - We Can Do Anything.

"Tilly Rae's slogan is We Can Do Anything, and she has more than shown she really can," said the policing team.

"Our team were so taken with how brave and positive she still is, despite everything that has happened to her and her family in the last year, that we wanted to give her a little something back."

'Just amazing'

When she was unable to receive visitors during the pandemic, Tilly began selling items with her slogan on and providing gifts to other children in Telford and Birmingham hospitals.

The force said she was believed to be only the fourth person in the world to have undergone such an operation for her conditions, and the only one in the UK.

"But, faced with such adversity, Tilly Rae wasn't going to sit back - she came out fighting, and determined to help other children who find themselves in similar situations to herself," it added.

Tilly's mother Jodie said the visit was nice for her to "have a bit of attention that wasn't medical-related".

"She's just amazing. She has her down days, don't get me wrong... but kids just seem to manage, don't they?," she said.

"She's had to deal with a lot of lifelong changes. You're so lucky to get a transplant, but then it's another change to your lifestyle - you have to learn to adapt.

"The police coming out to see Tilly at school, it's like: 'They're coming to see me!"'

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