A rare brain condition has turned a Chichester father’s life upside down.
Spencer Senior suffered a life-threatening brain haemorrhage on January 4 and needed surgery lasting more than seven hours.
He had an Arteriovenous Malformation (AVM), a tangle of blood vessels that bypassed normal brain tissue and directly diverted blood from the arteries to the veins. Normally, arteries carry blood containing oxygen from the heart to the brain, and veins carry blood with less oxygen away from the brain and back to the heart.
Spencer, 34, is married to Clare and they have two children, George, six, and Emilija, three.
He said: “I have a long road to recovery and a daily battle with pain and fatigue. This life-changing event has turned our life upside down.
“We feel if we could make just one person aware of what an AVM is, we have achieved our aim.”
The family organised a crazy hair day at Lancastrian Infant School, where George is a pupil, to help raise awareness.
Clare is a qualified hairdresser and offered to do different styles on the day.
Children and staff supported the event on Friday, which included a cake sale and raffle, raising £323.50 for The Butterfly AVM Charity.
Clare said: “The children and some of the teachers went in with crazy hair. The school was brilliant and really supportive. It is only a tiny school so we are really pleased. The children had such a good time.
“We also had a poster competition where they could design something to promote the day and prizes were awarded. We wanted the children to have fun and all the posters were displayed in the school.”
Overall, that means Spencer and his family have raised £1,059 towards AVM research, through www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Spencer-Senior
The family wanted to raise money for the charity, as it supports sufferers and contributes to Great Ormond Street Hospital.
They also wanted to raise awareness of the condition, which affects less than one per cent of the population.
Spencer said: “We chose to do an event at the school as we know the children love to get involved and have fun.
“I was held not only to raise awareness of AVM but also to let local people know what a great school this is.
“We have had fantastic support from the new head teacher, Zoe Gordon, and all the team.”
The charity was set up by the parents of Nikki Christou, who won a Pride of Britain Award last year, and was named because Nikki says beauty lies within.
Spencer said: “What a fantastic message to put across to the children of Lancastrian.”