Three-year-old girl with lung disease receives 250 birthday cards from strangers

Angel-Louise Lemar faced the prospect of a glum birthday this year due to lockdown.

Born at just 26-weeks weighing 538g, Angel-Louise has chronic lung disease and lives with complex needs – she is tube-fed and only weighs 7kg.

This makes her a member of the vulnerable group in the coronavirus pandemic, requiring strict social distancing and lockdown measures.

But despite all this, the three-year-old’s mum and dad wanted to mark their daughter’s birthday with a proper celebration.

Mum-of-six Roxie, 27, send out an appeal on Facebook, asking strangers to send Angel-Louise birthday cards to make her feel special on her birthday.

The family was stunned when more than 250 cards and presents turned up.

Stay-at-home mum Roxie, from Basingstoke, said: ‘Each birthday, we make it a big deal because of everything she has to go through.

‘And obviously because it was cancelled because of the lockdown, we didn’t really know what to do.

‘We just reached out to people to see if they would send her a card.

‘I was so overwhelmed with the response – I had literally over 2,000 responses.

‘I even got blocked on Facebook for 24 hours because I was replying to too many people that weren’t on my friends list.

‘They’re just complete strangers, but some were writing and saying they were teaching assistants so they sent stickers and things from other children.

‘Some people were nurses from different hospitals.

‘Angel can’t really talk, she’s got like the mind of a one-year-old so she doesn’t really know – but obviously when she had the presents, there was a massive grin on her face and she was so excited.’

Angel-Louise was admitted to hospital the day before her birthday on 25 April but thankfully after some tests, she was sent home in time for her virtual celebrations.

She came home to more than 250 cards and presents – with more arriving every day this week.

Her ballet teachers also organised a virtual party with her classmates.

Roxie said: ‘She was meant to have a baby ballet birthday with her teachers, but obviously that had to be cancelled.

‘She loves her ballet – normally she won’t do anything else, she’ll just chill on the sofa.

‘She hasn’t got a lot of energy from being so small, and if she does do an activity her breathing will deteriorate. But with ballet, she just plods along.

‘She had a virtual baby ballet party – they did it virtually for her, completely free.

‘There were around 20 children – they did it for the girls that go to her class normally.

‘But also if any of my friends or family wanted to get involved, they accepted them into the group.

‘They did games through dance, but they were also doing her favourite dances, like Sleeping Bunnies.’

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