A COURAGEOUS schoolgirl is making excellent progress since undergoing the first of many life-changing operations to save her leg from amputation.

Kyra Warrell, seven, had the procedure in Israel last month and has since returned to school but she is just at the start of a long journey to correct the length of her leg.

Kyra, from Westdene, Brighton, suffers from a rare condition known as Proximal Focal Femoral Deficiency and had the surgery abroad to ensure she did not have to lose her limb altogether, the only option available to her in the UK.

Now her family, who already raised £58,000 for Kyra’s trip to Israel, are working hard to ensure she can get to the United States next summer for a major operation to help lengthen her leg.

Neil Warrell, Kyra’s father, said: “We’ve been completely blown away by the incredible support people have shown to us so far with our fundraising efforts.

“We’ve raised more than we ever expected to and we can’t thank everyone enough for what they have done, but now we are starting all over again for the next step of Kyra’s journey.”

Kyra’s parents need to raise £95,000 for her trip to the States, which will hopefully happen in the summer of 2019.

Mr Warrell said: “We need to monitor Kyra’s recovery and how she grows over the next year or so but her surgeon, Dr Paley, is confident her bones will be big enough by then to operate.”

Dr Dror Paley is the founder and director of the Paley Institute in West Palm Beach, Florida, and is considered the world’s most experienced limb lengthening surgeon.

Kyra and her family will have to stay in Florida for several months while she undergoes treatment, as she will require daily physiotherapy to ensure the surgery is successful.

The family have kick-started the next stage of their fundraising with an impressive climb, which took place at High Sports at the Withdean Complex in Brighton last weekend

A proficient climber himself, Mr Warrell gathered together a team of supporters who, between them, scaled the equivalent of the highest mountain in the solar system, Olympus Mons on Mars.

They climbed a total of 22,000m, which equates to scaling Mount Everest two and a half times.

He said: “It was a brilliant day, we had a fantastic turnout, with some people simply turning up on the day and agreeing to help.

“I managed to climb 700m, two people climbed 1,500m each and an 11-year-old boy reached a total of 1,200m.

“It was amazing, we’re so very grateful to High Sports and everyone who climbed on the day.

“We have raised £5,000 towards Kyra’s next procedure, which is a great start.”

The past few weeks have not been easy for Kyra as she was confined to a wheelchair for several weeks while recovering from her operation.

She has now had her cast removed and is able to get around more easily using a child-size frame.

Regular physiotherapy sessions at the Royal Alexandra Children’s Hospital in Brighton have also begun, which is hard work for Kyra, but vital to prepare her for next year’s procedure.

Mr Warrell said: “It’s not easy for her as she’s not been able to use her leg for seven weeks and is now waiting for a new prosthetic.

“She’s been waking up a lot in the night, feeling uncomfortable and she misses swimming and playing with her friends, but that will become easier now the cast is off.”

For Kyra’s parents, the fundraising efforts continue as they build up to their next big challenge in the autumn.

Mr Warrell said: “We’re doing Tough Mudder at Holmbush Farm in Faygate at the end of September and already have lots of people signed up to do it with us.

“There are loads of other smaller events taking place in the meantime though to keep the funds coming in, such as Easter activities and cake sales and so on.

“People continue to amaze us with their constant support and willingness to help.”

The campaign is called Step With Kyra and now has charity status which means those contributing to the fund can boost their donation with gift aid.

To help Kyra, go to www.justgiving.com/campaigns/charity/just4children/stepwithkyra.