A SEVEN-year-old girl who has spent most of the year in hospital is enjoying life back at home.

Until recently, the idea of coming home and having something resembling a normal life seemed like a distant dream for Daisy Palmer and her family, from Langdon Hills.

The youngster spent January until August hooked up to a feeding machine on a ward in the Royal London Hospital, in Whitechapel, East London.

The brave youngster has a rare illness, called chronic intestinal pseudo obstruction, which means she has to be fed intravenously.

It also means she suffers joint pains and weak muscles.

Although she is not cured, last month doctors decided she was well enough to go home and her mum, Tracy, and dad, Damon, both 39, have taken on the responsibility of looking after her full time at their home in Burrs Close.

This is no easy task, because Daisy needs to be fed liquid food through a drip for 14 hours every day, which makes leading a normal life difficult for the family.

Tracy said: “It’s so good to have her home, but life has changed completely.

“It is really hard. Everything takes so much organisation and she has so much equipment and medication. It’s a 24/7 job – once she’s hooked up to her feeding machine we can’t leave her, and there’s always the worry she could get an infection.

“But she’s worth it.”

Since coming home Daisy has been going to Great Berry Primary School, in Forest Glade, Langdon Hills, for a few hours a day when she feels up to it.

Proud mum Tracy said: “Lucky for us she’s such a bright girl, but school is so exhausting for her. She fell asleep while taking off her coat.”

Plucky Daisy, who is stoical about her condition, admitted she missed food.

She said: “I miss chocolate and roast dinners most of all, but it’s getting a bit easier. I like being home.”

Daisy’s mum said because the condition is so rare, the NHS does not fund research into finding a cure.

The couple are active supporters of Port, a charity set up to pay for research into the illness.

So far the charity, which was set up in 2006, has raised £140,000, half of which has gone into funding an international database so medical experts can compare how the condition has affected other patients.

To find out more, visit www.port-charity.org.uk