Sunday, February 23

Thief stole cash intended to help teenager unable to walk

- December 4, 2017

Last Monday (27 November) a collection tin filled with money intended to help give a teenager with cerebral palsy the chance of walking was stolen.

The thief took the tin from the bar of the White Horse pub in Rottingdean. It was filled with notes to help Marissa Tasker, 18, who is hoping to raise £45,000 for ground-breaking surgery not available on the NHS.

CCTV footage shows a grey-haired man walking into the pub and taking the tin from the bar last Monday morning before making off on his bike.

Marissa’s mother Sharon said: “I’m just gutted. I feel so guilty because so many people we know have made donations and now we are no closer to raising what Marissa needs.”

Marissa and her twin sister Orlanda both have cerebral palsy and live in supported accommodation at Lustrells in Saltdean.

Marissa is in constant pain and is only able to walk short distances.

Unless she has the operation on her spine which would remove faulty nerves which send signals to the legs causing them to spasm, Marissa is likely to be wheelchair-bound for life.

The procedure, called selective dorsal rhizotomy, is not available on the NHS but doctors at Great Ormond Street hospital believe it could greatly help Marissa.

The operation itself would cost £29,000 with physiotherapy and other care taking the total up to £45,000.

The collecting towards the fund had only just begun and the family feels that the theft of the tin has been a blow to their hopes of helping Marissa.

Marissa’s mother said: “This operation would be such a benefit to Marissa. She would be able to walk and her walking is getting very bad.

“We had been waiting until we knew for definite that the operation would help Marissa before starting to ask people for money.

“The tin had only been out a few weeks and it was already full.”

The family had been about to swap the tin for a new one when it was stolen.

Marissa’s brother Kieran works in the White Horse and the family think people had been extra generous because they knew it was for his younger sister.

Anyone who has any information is asked to contact Sussex Police using the eform at: sussex.police.uk/appealresponse quoting serial 1192 of November 28.

By Clare Calder




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