Triumph of burns girl appeal

By Sarah Lagan

The Evening Star in Ipswich has exceeded all its expectations by
raising £376,000 – more than 70 times its original target – for a
little girl who almost died in a house fire.

Terri Calvesbert suffered 85 per cent burns, losing her ears, nose
and lips, when flames swept through her home in Ipswich in November
1998. She was 18 months old at the time.

In the days that
followed the Star launched a fund to raise £5,000 for her future – and
as people around the world heard of her plight, money came flooding in,
making it one of the most successful regional press appeals ever.

Over
the years Terri has had skin grafts and other operations at Broomfield
Hospital’s specialist burns centre to rebuild her face.

The hospital in Chelmsford says she could be an ideal candidate for a face transplant.

In
the years since the fire, the Star has followed Terri’s every step. She
has met Simon Weston, who was severely burnt in the Falklands War; was
named a child of courage by Woman’s Own; and met Santa Claus in
Lapland. An appearance by Terri on This Morning has been voted one of
the most memorable segments in 50 years of ITV.

Star editor Nigel
Pickover said: “We had a trust meeting for the fund and Terri turned up
to it with her father and she was as good as gold – she just gets on
with life. She is remarkable.

“The response to the fund has taken our breath away.”

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