THE mum of a brave girl who has multiple organ disease is raising awareness of vital feeding tubes.

This week is Feeding Tube Awareness Week - an event organised by the charity Feeding Tube Awareness.

The mission is to promote the positive benefits of feeding tubes as life-saving medical interventions.

Feeding tubes are an alternate way of receiving nutrition for children or adults who are unable to eat by mouth.

Erin Sadler, from Colchester, has has kidney, liver and heart disease among other serious medical conditions.

The five-year-old had a feeding tube for four months, when she was just 11 months old.

Two years later a 'Mickey Button' was fitted for food to go directly into her stomach.

Erin’s mum Helen said: "There have been a number of articles in national news about Facebook banning a photo of a young lady with a feed tube for being too shocking.

"With so many parents and others working so hard to support those who require feeding tubes and raise awareness, it's demoralising and incredibly annoying.

"My Erin had an NG tube of her face for four mouths and then a Mickey button was put in her stomach surgically, we rely on this for survival as do many, many others."

Erin is the only one at school with a Mickey Button.

Her mum added: "I remember when she had the NG tube in her face and she would get head tilts of sympathy.

"But that tube was keeping her well.

"The Mickey Button is great as it's a non surgical procedure to change it, she gets all her medication through it and some of her feeds.

"It's just about normalising these things.

"It was a lady from a company called Tubie Kids who made me aware of the awareness week and different support for families."

To find out more visit