Children's campaigner Sara Payne critically ill

Children's campaigner Sara Payne critically ill

The mother of murdered British schoolgirl Sarah Payne was in a “life-threatening condition” today after being rushed to hospital with complications after brain surgery.

Mrs Payne had a life-saving operation to cure a ruptured aneurysm last year, friends said.

Child protection campaigner Sara Payne, 40, fell ill yesterday and her condition has since worsened, sources close to her family confirmed.

Family members originally intended to keep her plight private until after the Christmas period.

Friend Michele Elliott, founder and director of campaign group Kidscape, said: “Sara is the most wonderful and indomitable person and if anyone can get through this, it’s her.

“Everyone needs to pray and send their good thoughts at this difficult time. I have been in tears.”

Relatives and friends, including fellow campaigner Shy Keenan, have been at her hospital bedside, she said.

Since the death of her daughter Sarah at the hands of paedophile Roy Whiting in 2000, Mrs Payne has become a prominent campaigner for victims’ rights.

Mrs Payne launched a high-profile campaign for “Sarah’s Law” after her daughter’s murder, giving parents the right to know if paedophiles live near them.

A limited form of the law, based on America’s Megan’s Law, was announced in February last year.

She was given an MBE for her tireless work to keep children safe from paedophiles in the 2008 New Year Honours List.

Her daughters Charlotte, 15, and Ellie, five, are being looked after by relatives over Christmas. Her sons Lee and Luke are 22 and 21.

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