THE Bridport community has come together to support a local family after a two-year-old girl suffered a life-threatening stroke.

Lara Symes - the daughter of Chris and Katie Symes - suffered a traumatic stroke at her Bridport home on Saturday, April 17.

She was rushed to A&E at Dorset County Hospital where her condition was immediately diagnosed as serious. It was then decided she must be transferred to a specialist department at Southampton Hospital and the air ambulance was scrambled to transfer her.

Mr and Mrs Symes are staying close to Southampton Hospital, whilst Lara undergoes her treatment and are expecting to be there for up to three months. To complicate matters further they are expecting their second child any day now.

Mr Symes is the greenkeeper at Bridport and West Dorset Golf Club, which started a GoFundMe page on Tuesday of this week to raise funds to help the couple with the situation and to help fund any potential additional treatment for Lara which may be needed going forward. Any surplus funds will go to a charity of Mr and Mrs Symes' choosing.

The fundraising page was set up with a goal of £3,000 – and this was raised within a day.

A spokesman for the Bridport and West Dorset Golf Club said: "Chris has been a greenkeeper at our club for over 14 years and is a well-respected and hardworking member of our team.

"All the staff at the golf club are very keen to support Chris and Katie at this exceedingly difficult time and wish to raise significant funds to help them cope with the demands of the next three months and with further care and treatment for Lara going forward.

"It is Chris and Katie’s wish that any surplus money raised should go to a charity of their choice."

Following brain scans the doctors are optimistic that Lara will make a measured recovery – but it is not yet clear as to the long-term implications and effects that the stroke will have on Lara. She is currently in the intensive care unit and is expected to move to the neuro ward in due course.

The family have now managed to find accommodation with the Ronald MacDonald Foundation in Southampton.

The Foundation provides families with places to stay, close to their child’s hospital ward.

The Bridport and West Dorset Golf Club is also organising a fundraising golf day on Saturday, May 1 to help in the fundraising effort. For further information on the day, visit

To support the family, click here.