Monopoly Moonwalkers talking a break at Euston fire station on Saturday. Picture: Alison Romanczuk
Published: 17 September, 2015
by JOHN GULLIVER
LITTLE Perlucia, aged seven, who was so badly burnt she can only sleep with her eyes open, will be undergoing a three-hour operation today (Thursday) to give her a new life.
While working on her eyelids the surgeons will also be amputating part of her index finger so as to join the stump to her thumb to allow her to pick up things with her left hand. This incredible micro-surgery at the famous McIndoe hospital in Sussex is being made possible because of a remarkable woman, Bronwen Jones, who is dedicating her life to helping badly burnt South African children. On Saturday she organised a 13-mile walk around the 27 stops on the Monopoly board which raised nearly £15,000 for her great cause – Children of Fire – through bucket collections and the website Just Giving.
Little Perlucia, 7, who is having life-changing surgery today (Thursday) so that she can close her eyelids. Picture: Alison Romanczuk
Part of the collection will help pay for Bronwen’s dream – a special hospital in Botswana for burns victims. The first step is an international competition for the best-designed hospital – estimated to cost about £35,000 – which Bronwen hopes will enable her to persuade billionaires and corporations to back it.
I saw dozens of volunteers – some belonging to the newly formed London fire cadet service – at Euston fire station on Saturday afternoon where firefighters welcomed them with refreshments on their 12-hour Monopoly Moonwalk. They are typically big-hearted firefighters who have first-hand experience of what it must be like to be a victim of a fire. They are a great bunch at the station.