KIND-HEARTED members of the public have helped to pay for a life-changing walker for a little girl who has battled a lifetime of severe and complex heart and intestine conditions.

Little Gracie-Leigh Tarrant has continued to defy medical professionals who gave her just three weeks to live when she was born.

One of only two children in the world with her specific and complex health needs, she spent the first 11 months of her life in intensive care at Addenbrooke’s in Cambridge and London’s Great Ormond Street hospitals.

Just before her first birthday she was sent home from hospital to spend some quality time with her family with doctors saying she wouldn’t live longer than a few weeks.

Now seven, she is a happy and cheerful child but she is unable to walk unaided and still battles her various health conditions on a daily basis.

As someone who knows what little Gracie-Leigh has been through better than most, one of her carers Abby Glynn-Moore wanted to do something to help.

So she set up a fundraising page in a bid to buy Gracie-Leigh a walker for her Colchester home similar to the one she uses at Lexden Spring School.

Gracie-Leigh’s mum Fay Tarrant said: “Gracie has a walker in school and she has been getting on really well with it.

“Without the walker I have to carry her everywhere because her wheelchair does not fit in the house.

“The fundraising page was set up in April in order to raise £1,000 for the walker.

“The idea was to give her some more independence at home and when we go out and about.”

In order to raise funds Ms Glynn-Moore, who has worked with Gracie-Leigh since she was a tot, climbed 3,000m to the summit of Mount Pulag in the Philippines.

And thanks to the public’s kind donations the walker has now been delivered to Gracie-Leigh and her delighted family.

Ms Tarrant said: “We only got it about a week ago but she is doing well with it. She is more independent around the house. She is using it for short periods when we go out as well whilst she builds up her strength.

“I have to say a huge thank you to everyone for their generosity.

“Abby has been an amazing support for us since she started caring for Gracie-Leigh. I am lost for words, I was not expecting the support we have received.”

Gracie recently underwent open heart surgery, but is already fighting back and getting to grips with her newfound independence.

“I couldn’t be prouder of the little girl she is becoming and for the amazing support network we have,” Ms Tarrant said.

“She will be turning eight next month and has achieved so much more than I ever expected she could, taught so many people the value of life and is known for her infectious laugh and amazing smile by everyone she encounters.”