Life-changing surgery for 4yo girl thanks to south Auckland community's support

A four-year-old girl will have life-changing surgery in the US after her south Auckland community banded together to pay for it.

Ella Yearbury was born severely premature at 25 weeks and weighing only 800 grams.

She's got cerebral palsy, hydrocephalus, and epilepsy - but even as a newborn her indomitable spirit shone through.

"There were probably like nine doctors standing round her incubator trying to figure out if she could come off the ventilator," her mother Kate Yearbury told Three's The Project.

"One of the consultants said, 'I think Ella's made the decision for us'… We turned around and she [was using her] tiny little hands trying to rip this tube out."

Ella's current goal is to walk - and a surgery at a leading hospital in the US might be able to help her achieve it.

Such a procedure comes with a hefty price tag and Ella's parents couldn't afford it, but their community stepped in and fundraised.

She's now on her way and the surgery is scheduled for her fifth birthday.

Newshub.