AN Ethiopian girl who is growing steadily deaf and blind has been brought to England in the hope that a cure can be found.
The girl, Meron Tsegaye, is 14 and speaks no English. Her expenses, which include a private room at the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital, are being met by the local Catholic Women's League.
Her flight was paid for by Mrs Betty Svendson, who organised the visit for Meron and her aunt. Her aunt stays with Meron in the room at the hospital and acts as interpreter for her.
Mrs Svendson told the Catholic Herald that Meron was enjoying her stay, despite the confines of the hospital. "She had a brain scan, which will be the first of many, but nothing showed up. She arrived last Wednesday and has been for tests at an eye specialist, and there is something very wrong with her, but we don't know what it is yet".
Mrs Svendson usually helps to run a donkey sanctuary in Sidmouth, and it was through her concern for donkeys in Ethiopia that she heard about the plight of Meron.
"I was in a place called Debra Zeit, and one of the vets mentioned the case of this poor blind girl and asked if there we.. anything I could do", she explained.
That was in March, and despite complications with a visa application, Meron is now awaiting the results from numerous medical tests in her hospital bed.