THE parents of a two-year-old girl who suffered a stroke have thanked the community after a campaign to support the family raised more than double its target - as the toddler starts to show small signs of recovery.

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

More than £6,500 has been raised so far in the GoFundMe campaign to help the couple with the situation and to support any potential additional treatment for Lara which may be needed going forward.

The fundraiser initial target of £3,000 was raised within a day.

Lara was originally flown by the air ambulance to the ICU at Southampton General Hospital. She has since been moved to the neuro ward where she will be staying for the majority of her recovery.

Mr and Mrs Symes have secured a room in the Ronald McDonald Foundation House next to the hospital - as they want to be as close to Lara as possible.

Lara has now completed some physiotherapy sessions and has even already managed to wiggle her toes slightly and move her leg.

Mr Symes, the greenkeeper at Bridport and West Dorset Golf Club, said: "Katie and I would like to thank everyone for all the support and good wishes we've received; we can't thank you enough.

“Since being on the neuro ward, although being quite grumpy for her first few days she's started to show glimpses of starting her recovery already.

“As of yet we’ve been given no explanation of why this has happened to our little girl.

“Obviously Katie and I are optimistic but we are well aware that there is a long road ahead and don't want to go getting our hopes up so soon as we know Lara will encounter both good and bad days.”

Mrs Symes is pregnant with the couple's second child and is expected to arrive any day now.

Mr Symes added: “We are hoping that now the three of us have a base we can get into a routine and build some structure for Lara.”

“We are also hoping baby number two will delay her arrival so Lara gets all of our attention for the next couple weeks at least.”

The golf club set up the GoFundMe page and is also organising a fundraising day on Saturday, May 1.

Among the activities going ahead on the day will be a silent auction which will include the likes of a trip for four people to go and watch Valencia Football Club play in Spain with flights and two nights accommodation, a garden furniture set, a VIP box for 10 people at a Crystal Palace home game and a two nights stay for two at a West Bay B&B which includes two rounds of golf.

All bids must be placed inside the silent auction box which is held in the golf club reception. The silent auction will be closed on Sunday, May 9 at 3pm.

If anybody wishes to make a bid and is unable to attend the club, email with name, item, bid amount, address, email, and telephone number.

To support the family, visit