Secret Santa appeal could help Rachel in her brave fight for life - The Evesham Observer

Secret Santa appeal could help Rachel in her brave fight for life

Evesham Editorial 17th Dec, 2021   0

A BRAVE Pershore mum has made an appeal to those taking part in Secret Santa to consider donating the cost of the gift – £5 – to her continued brave fight for life.

Rachel and Guy Pighills have made a plea for people to donate a fiver to raise the £350,000 needed for surgery in New York.

The caring couple have so far raised almost £45,000 and hope to attract a fiver from 60,000 people to smash the target and give Rachel a future with devoted husband Guy and her daughter.

It will cost £45,000 to get to New York on a specialist flight with a doctor on board and the couple are targeting a revised January date for the operation after postponing an October slot with Dr Paolo Bolognese.

Recent research from Instantprint shows up to 2.5million Secret Santa gifts exchanged in UK workplaces will end up in the bin this year. Almost one in twelve people – eight per cent – revealed they would bin a present they disliked. This adds up to almost £32.5million worth of gifts.

“We have raised almost £45,000 so far which we’re so grateful for but there is still some way to go and in an extremely short space of time,” Guy said.

“We don’t have a particular target in mind for the Secret Santa appeal but if approximately 60,000 people donated £5 we would reach the target required. The quicker we can raise the funds the more hope we have of Rachel making a full recovery,” he added.

The Observer reported in October 2019 on Rachel and her husband Guy’s desperate race to fund the £135,000 needed for life-saving surgery in Barcelona.

In January 2020, Rachel underwent an Occipital Spinal Fusion with Posterior Fossa Decompression in the UK.

Whilst Rachel’s situation initially seemed promising at the time, her health rapidly began to deteriorate.

Her initial surgery had failed and the painkillers were merely suppressing her central nervous system and masking the symptoms.

Rachel now needs to undergo a combination of consecutive and very complex brain and spinal surgeries, to save her life.

Dr Bolognese, is a leading neurosurgeon based in New York, and is the only neurosurgeon in the world who is experienced and willing to help Rachel, as the complexities of her case have progressed.

“We are devastated we have had to postpone surgery, as Rachel is deteriorating rapidly as each day goes by,” Guy said.

“The longer her brainstem is left compressed the less chances of it making a recovery.”

The plea for help comes nearly four years after Rachel first ill, though the gravity of her situation was only fully revealed in July 2019.

Anyone with fund-raising ideas or who is able to get in touch to help the devoted couple in their hour of need is asked to get in touch via their ‘ Rachel’s Fight for Life’ Facebook page.

Visit for more.


Advertise with the Evesham Observer to reach your audience

Reader Travel

Check out all of the latest reader travel offers to get your hands on some free gifts.


Find a career you'll love with our free career finder website.


Weddings, Birthdays, Bereavements, Thank you notices, Marriages and more.