An appeal for funds to buy life changing equipment for a Haverfordwest schoolgirl seriously injured in a crash nearly a year ago has got off to a flying start, thanks to donations both from friends and strangers.

Twelve-year-old Shannon Folena sustained serious head injuries when she was involved in a collision with a car on Freemens Way last March.

The former Sir Thomas Picton School pupil has been left unable to move independently or communicate. She requires round the clock care, provided by her parents, siblings and a team of carers.

Shannon returned to Pembrokeshire last December, after spending nine months at the University Hospital of Wales and then the children's trust, Tadworth.

Her mother Fiona, a former classroom assistant at Prendergast School, has given up work to care for her daughter. Both she and husband Paul are desperate to buy Shannon an eye gazer; a type of computer which would eventually allow her to communicate with them by moving her eyes.

"She can hear but we are not sure if she can understand what we are saying," said her father Paul. "She can't communicate with us so at the moment it's just a guessing game.

"The eye gazer is the only thing she could use to communicate, there is nothing else. It would be a massive change it would really help Shannon."

Family friend Georgina Horton-Jones has set up a Crowdfunder page to try and raise £5,000 to purchase the potentially life-changing equipment. Any money left over would go towards sensory equipment which would enrich Shannon's environment.

"All of that would bring her on and improve her quality of life," said Paul.

The Crowdfunder appeal has already reached nearly £1,000. Georgina will also be carrying out a series of fundraising events throughout the year, to help the family.

"I thought it was lovely, fantastic," said Fiona. "The money has been raised so quickly. Some of the people who have donated we know but about half of the people we don't know. We really appreciate it from everybody."

Paul added that since Shannon's accident they had had an enormous amount of support from family, the church community and Shannon's friends and their families.

"We would really like to say thank you for all the help," said Paul. "Whether it's just somebody knocking on the door and saying hello or a donation of money.

"Shannon is our main concern. We want to get her back as much as possible. Just to communicate would be great."

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