Mother appeals for cash to fund fight for brain-damaged daughter’s treatment

Paula Parfitt raised £4,000 in 18 hours after saying she needs £100,000 ‘super quickly’ to challenge a ruling.

Family Division of the High Court
Family Division of the High Court

A single mother who says she needs £100,000 “super quickly” to fund an appeal after a High Court judge ruled that her brain-damaged daughter should be allowed to die has raised more than £4,000 in a day.

Mr Justice Poole decided on Friday that specialists treating five-year-old Pippa Knight, who has a rare condition, could lawfully stop providing life-support treatment.

Pippa’s mother, Paula Parfitt, who said she was devastated by the decision, had hoped to be granted legal aid to pay for lawyers to challenge the judge’s ruling in the Court of Appeal.

Lawyers said she had been granted legal aid to pay for the High Court fight but her bid for legal aid to fund an appeal had failed.

Ms Parfitt, 41, of Strood, Kent, has now launched an appeal on the GoFundMe website.

More than 160 people donated more than £4,200 within 18 hours of the appeal being launched.

Mr Justice Poole said specialists should keep treating Pippa for a short period to give Ms Parfitt time to organise an appeal.

Ms Parfitt said she had to raise £100,000 “super quickly” to fund a challenge.

Pippa Knight legal case
Paula Parfitt wants her five-year-old daughter, Pippa Knight, to be cared for at home (Sinclairslaw/PA)

The judge had heard evidence at a trial in the Family Division of the High Court in London in December.

He described the case as “heart-rending”.

Pippa was born in April 2015 and initially developed normally, but in December 2016 she became unwell and began to suffer seizures, the judge heard.

Specialists diagnosed acute necrotising encephalopathy.

The judge was told that the youngster is now in a vegetative state and has no awareness.

Specialists treating Pippa at the Evelina Children’s Hospital in London said life-support treatment should end.

Hospital bosses had asked Mr Justice Poole to rule that ending treatment, and allowing Pippa to die, would be lawful and in her best interests.

Ms Parfitt, who told the court that Pippa’s father is dead, disagreed.

She wants her daughter to be placed on a portable ventilator and allowed home, and wanted the judge to authorise a home-care trial.

But Mr Justice Poole ruled against her.

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