A TROWBRIDGE schoolgirl who underwent a 10-hour emergency operation to remove a brain tumour and later raised a magnificent £3,628 for the FUN Club charity that helped her recover, has been thanked by her local MP.

Dr Andrew Murrison, the MP for South West Wiltshire, has presented a certificate of appreciation to Bailey May Morris for assisting her local community during the Covid pandemic.

Bailey May was only ten when she was diagnosed with a brain tumour the size of a small satsuma at the back of her head in June last year during the Covid-19 lockdown.

She spent ten hours undergoing life-saving surgery at Bristol Children’s Hospital after being ‘bluelighted’ from the Royal United Hospital in Bath where a scan revealed the benign tumour and fluid on her brain.

Afterwards, she was helped to recover by the FUN Club, an independent charity that provides activities for neuro-surgery patients, as she spent three weeks at the hospital.

When Bailey May’s friends at St John’s RC Primary School in Trowbridge heard about her plight, they pledged to help her raise funds for the charity as a thank you for its support.

In July this year, her proud grandfather, Peter Matthews, enlisted Glastonbury Festival founder Michael Eavis to help present a bumper cheque to the charity at the Wingfield Road school.

Mr Eavis, 85, said he was “delighted” to help present the cheque, adding: “They have all done so much to raise the money and it is a wonderful cause.”

Mr Matthews, 67, of Holbrook Lane, Trowbridge, said: “Bailey May is my Captain Tom. She’s been an inspiration to us all. She’s absolutely amazing.

“She has not complained. She has not cried once. It is amazing from what she went through to where she is now.”

When Bailey May returned to school in September last year, the St John’s RC School teachers asked if she would like to nominate a charity for their fundraising year.

Bailey May chose the FUN Club and she and her two best friends Nicola Szymanska, 11, and Nikola Kasciolek, 11, set about organising some fundraising activities.

They persuaded the whole school to take part in sponsored laps around its playing field.

Nicola said: “Everyone was asked to run as many laps as they could for 15 minutes.”

Bailey May, now 11 and a pupil at St Augustine’s Catholic College in Trowbridge, said: “It was quite exciting. I did not think that six months after the operation I would be able to run.”

“I probably would not have been able to raise so much money without help from Nicola and Nikola.”

Mum and dad Teresa and Robert Morris, of Lamplighters Walk, Trowbridge, hosted Dr Murrison on November 19 as he popped round to make the presentation to Bailey May, who has since made a full recovery although she will have to go for regular check ups.

Mrs Morris, 40, said: “We thought we would only raise about £400 as the school only has that many pupils. But we launched a justgiving page and the money just kept going up and up.”

Kim O’Rourke, the school’s deputy headteacher, said: “Bailey May will never be forgotten here. We thought we would raise just a couple of hundred pounds but it is amazing what they have achieved.”

Julie and Paul Fisher, who run the FUN Club charity, said the £3,628 would make a “massive difference” to the charity, which provides social activities and equipment to improve neuro-surgery patients’ mobility and eye-to-hand coordination.

“We only have a turnover of around £10,000 a year, so this money is going to make a massive difference,” Mr Fisher said. “It will enable us to purchase more equipment and will help to fund weekend breaks for families at the Manor House Hotel near Okehampton.”