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Casino night hits jackpot as Billie brings in almost £6,000

A mum of two from Basildon has raised almost £6,000 in just one evening for a charity very close to her heart, Children’s Liver Disease Foundation (CLDF).

                                                            Two-year-old Tommy, who inspired mum Billie’s fundraising,                                                                                                                was the star of the show at her fundraising evening at the Rochford Hotel.

Billie Colverson and her partner Jack Dingwall were shocked when their six-week-old baby son, Tommy, was diagnosed with the rare liver disease, biliary atresia.

“Liver disease was not something I considered when Tommy was born,” says Billie. “Because we already have an older son, I thought I was aware of all the signs which would normally cause alarm. Tommy did have jaundice, which I know is very common in babies and I had been reassured that it was nothing to worry about. But it was a chance encounter with a retired nurse in the supermarket who told me that jaundice at four weeks could be a danger sign, that made me determined to get this investigated. We took him to the doctors who referred us to our local hospital in Basildon and within a week we were being told that it was looking like there could be something seriously wrong with his liver.”

The family were sent to Kings College Hospital where biliary atresia was confirmed and Tommy underwent emergency surgery, known as a Kasai procedure, when he was seven weeks old. Unfortunately, it was not successful and, as Tommy’s condition deteriorated, doctors explained that a transplant was his only option.

“It was devastating news and the wait for a suitable donor was just so hard,” says Billie. “Tommy eventually received his transplant in July 2020 when he was ten months old  – because of the pandemic everything was taking a little longer. We now know that if he had not received his new liver when he did, he had just days left. We shall be forever grateful to his donor family.”

It was the team at Kings who told Billie and Jack about Children’s Liver Disease Foundation. “We were given information which explained Tommy’s condition and it was so reassuring to know that, even though we had never previously heard of it, there are many other families whose children have liver disease, many have also been through transplant and that there is a support network there. We feel so lucky that Tommy is doing really well now but one day we may need CLDF.  It felt right to give something back.”

So, Billie planned a dinner, disco, and casino evening at the Rochford Hotel in Southend. “The hotel was so helpful when they knew the cause. We had a raffle and casino tables to boost fundraising and with loads of raffle prizes and 116 tickets sold, I was confident of hitting my £1500 target,” says Billie.

The evening exceeded her expectations with almost £5,000 raised on the evening and Barclays Bank providing an additional £1,000.

“We received brilliant support from the local community. It’s amazing to know that we have such fantastic people around us, and I’m so pleased to have done something positive for Tommy and for other children with liver disease,” says Billie. “My hope is that one day we will know why children develop biliary atresia. In the meantime, I want to raise awareness as well as funds. I now know that prolonged jaundice in babies is a danger sign and want all new parents to be aware of that.”

Katherine Myles, Acting Chief Executive of Children’s Liver Disease Foundation commented: “We are the only UK charity dedicated to fighting all childhood liver diseases, by providing information and emotional support, funds for research and a voice for all those affected. We rely on voluntary donations and are therefore so grateful to Billie both for her fantastic fundraising and for helping raise awareness of such an important issue.”

Find out more about signs of liver disease in babies at Yellow Alert – Childrens Liver Disease Foundation (

For more information on CLDF visit

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