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Community / Flower girl Willa tunes into family wedding from hospital

Willa and her dad Anthony. Photo: Glasgow Children’s Hospital Charity

TECHNOLOGY has helped a six-year-old Shetland lass virtually attend a family wedding as a flower girl – despite being hundreds of miles away in hospital.

Willa has been in hospital in Glasgow since last month as she recovers from operations on a rare brain tumour.

Her story was featured in Shetland News after the community rallied around to raise thousands for her parents, Alison and Anthony Shearer, with some of the money set to go to charity.

Due to her stay in hospital Willa was set to miss being a flower girl at the Whalsay wedding, held on 20 May.

The wedding was for Ellie and Duncan Anderson, with the latter being Alison’s nephew.

Photo: Glasgow Children’s Hospital Charity

But thanks to the wonders of technology Willa and her dad tuned in from the Royal Hospital for Children to take part in the day.

Willa has been receiving treatment for Craniopharyngioma, a rare type of brain tumour.

“Willa has come a long way since her first operation,” Anthony said after the wedding.

“She’s had four major operations in the past five weeks, but is getting on so well now. We’re taking the small wins when we get them.

“She’s now able to sit up in bed, and ate a full Weetabix yesterday. We don’t know yet when we’ll get home, but we’re making progress every day.”

Asiyah Ahmad, charity impact manager at Glasgow Children’s Hospital Charity, told Shetland News: “Willa is a total inspiration to us all at Glasgow Children’s Hospital Charity and we would like to wish her well in her recovery.

“Thanks to the generosity of our supporters, we were able to bring a little extra sparkle to Willa’s day with some special balloons to celebrate her important role as Flower Girl.

“We would like to wish the happy couple all the very best for their future together and thank the bride, Ellie, who raised over £1,500 with her family and friends to help us to continue to be there for children and families in hospital who rely on our charity-funded projects and support services.”

The family previously said the tumour came to light after Willa suffered repeated headaches.

It was a visit to Miller Opticians in Lerwick which raised the alarm after staff spotted something during an eye test.

The Shearers said that whilst the operations have been a success, the recovery is hard to predict.