Millie Healey, 10, from Thrupp, enjoyed a trip of a lifetime to London recently, and even had a guided tour of the Houses of Parliament, thanks to Stroud MP Siobhan Baillie.
Millie’s dad, Graeme, runs the AstroHeart UK website and Facebook page and specialises in astrophotography.
“Astro ‘Heart’ is an amalgamation of my love of astronomy and my daughter Millie, who was born with congenital heart disease,” explained Graeme.
“In her first year she had flatlined, had two strokes and three open heart surgeries – the first when she was just 10 days old.”
The family has set up a fundraising page, www.gofundme.com/f/a-little-girls-wish-list, to help her fulfil her dreams – one of which was seeing Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament.
Stroud Times reported on Graeme and Millie earlier this year, and their love of astronomy and astrophotography. “Our MP spotted the fundraiser and wish list following your article and felt that it was inspiring,” explained Graeme.
“Although she wasn’t able to organise a visit inside Big Ben itself due to ongoing construction, she WAS able to sort out a personal VIP tour of Parliament. Millie, and her siblings Sam and Ben were incredibly excited, and Millie was over the moon at finally getting to see Big Ben in person with the scaffolding removed. Siobhan and her amazing team have promised to get Millie back again to go inside Big Ben once everything is finished.
“At some future point Millie is due further surgery. Due to the nature of this my partner and I felt it was essential for Millie and her siblings to have as much quality time as possible, enjoying her life to the fullest, despite her limitations.”
As well as the trip to London, the family has also been to Cotswold Wildlife Park, and there are hopefully other visits in the pipeline including trips to the National Space Centre and beach trips – one of Millie’s wishes is to ride a donkey.
“Her fundraiser has so far raised over £1,200, which is incredible, especially at a time of a cost-of-living crisis when money is so short for everyone,” said Graeme.
Graeme is holding a second talk, ‘Above and Beyond Gloucestershire’ at Stroud Brewery on July 8th, 7-8.30pm. Tickets can be booked through the website: www.stroudbrewery.co.uk/pages/events