Villagers show Ava ‘amazing’ support

Ava Mear, 4, remains in Great Ormond Street Hospital after suffering four heart attacks
Ava Mear, 4, remains in Great Ormond Street Hospital after suffering four heart attacks

A Caddington father who said goodbye to his four-year-old daughter before she made an astounding recovery has hailed the support his family have received from the village.

Ava Mear, 4, suffered four heart attacks just 12 hours after falling ill in the night and failed to show signs of life after 45 minutes of CPR.

The Caddington Village School pupil’s parents Clive and Mary-Jane were told by surgeons that they should say goodbye to their daughter, before the four-year-old made an unlikely recovery.

Ava remains at Great Ormond Street Hospital but is due to be assessed for a return closer to home at Luton and Dunstable Hospital, a major milestone in her rehabilitation.

During her extended hospital stay, which has now in its ninth week, Caddington villagers have banded around Ava’s parents and 10-year-old brother Alfie.

Clive Mear said: “The support we have had from everyone has been simply amazing. In a small village you would think that it would be talked about and then bottom off but if anything the momentum seems to be ever increasing.

“A couple of Ava’s friends have visited her and her teacher Rowena Baldwin put together an audio tape of students singing for her. Everyone at the school and in the village have looked out for Alfie as well, it has been tough for him.”

Ava initially fell ill after suffering from the most serious form of strep A infection, developed from a bout of tonsillitis.

After surgeons managed to restore a pulse the four-year-old was hooked up to an ECMO machine, which acts as an artificial lung and heart outside of the body.

Clive is now attempting to raise £80,000 to provide GOSH with another machine - a cause which has inspired villagers to come up with their own fundraising ideas.

One group of parents will be running 50km from Caddington village green to the doors of GOSH on Sunday, May 18.

Clive said: “It is fantastic that everyone is coming up with ideas for something that we feel very strongly about.”