Party that says ‘You’re doing just great . . .’

Purple day at Carr Green Primary School, Rastrick, for Libby Carstairs, pictured second from the left with Melissa Farra, nine, Mia Jackson, eight and Alex Livermore, eight
Purple day at Carr Green Primary School, Rastrick, for Libby Carstairs, pictured second from the left with Melissa Farra, nine, Mia Jackson, eight and Alex Livermore, eight

THE progress made by an inspirational little girl was celebrated at a Rastrick school with a purple party day.

Libby Carstairs has been battling a serious heart condition since she was born. The heart defect cannot be corrected but in June 2010 Libby had major heart surgery to help improve blood flow to her lungs.

But the operation left her seriously ill in Leeds General Infirmary for several months. She also suffered a stroke which affected her legs and her left side.

She has since regained strength in her left side but her Achilles tendon and other tendons in her legs and ankles have shrunk and she must have further surgery before she will be able to walk again.

Libby, is a pupil at Carr Green Primary School, and last year the school held a purple party day to let her know that they were all thinking about her.

Purple is her favourite colour and because she couldn’t attend she wore purple in hospital and her friends sent her purple balloons, promising her they would have another purple party when she returned.

Before half term all the school donned their purple attire to celebrate the her progress.

Head teacher Lesley Bowyer said it was a lovely day and a real celebration. “Libby has been an inspiration to everyone in school, astounding us all with her progress.” she said. “She still gets very tired and continues to attend school part-time. But she is always cheerful and her strong sense of determination to overcome the difficulties she has faced has impressed everyone.”

Libby’s mum, Claire Marsden, said she wanted to say thank youto everyone at Carr Green who have been a huge support “Libby is better. We are going back into hospital in the near future for more surgery on her tendons for her toes and achilles. But doctors are happy with the cardiac side and are keen to leave her for six months,” she said. “There will obviously be further surgery but she is coping well.

“She isn’t the same little girl as she was before the surgery but she is handling everything better. All she wants to be able to do though is walk in time for Christmas.”

Miss Marsden is grateful to all the agencies who have supported Libby, including the physiotherapist team at Laura Mitchell Clinic and school.