A FIVE-YEAR-OLD boy who had head-to-toe eczema has had his life transformed by life-changing treatment.
Wilf Ford, who lives on Berry Lane in Longridge, has “survived hell” said his mum Sarah after visiting a clinic in France.
Wilf has a whole new personality because the eczema had such a drain on him emotionally before. I feel like a new person too, I feel so aliveMum
Wilf was diagnosed with severe atopic eczema at five months old and before the treatment, Wilf needed fresh cream and bandages applied every hour and struggled with school, sleep and playing with his friends because of the discomfort.
But now after visiting Station Thermale Avene Hydrotherapy Centre, which is situated in the mountains of the south of France, Sarah, 28, says he can’t wait to get to school and their lives have changed forever.
She said: “I never imagined it would bring such an amazing change. Everything has changed, Wilf has a whole new personality because the eczema had such a drain on him emotionally before. I feel like a new person too, I feel so alive and not like a zombie anymore. His skin is so much clearer, we’ve gone from applying cream every hour to only three or four times a day. It’s so much easier too because it doesn’t make him cry from the pain and he’s quite happy for me to put it on because he knows how much it helps.”
The two of them got back from France at the end of October and despite the dramatic improvement, Wilf needs two more sets of treatments at the centre. These treatments don’t come cheap, costing around £5,500 a time but Sarah has been amazed at how much people have offered to help.
She said: “Wilf will always have eczema although the people at the centre said it should be almost cured by the third trip but it’s just about getting the money. Everyone has been incredible with their fundraising. We’ve done some events but in other cases other people have just got on with it and I’ve had to do nothing which is just brilliant. There’s been such a variety of things like chest waxing, a fashion show and so many other things. At the moment we have about £12,000 so that’s enough for the second trip which we’ll make sometime this year and we’ll keep fundraising for the third trip. Another big cost is the creams, which we have to get from France. You can get them from places like Boots but they’re so expensive it’s actually cheaper to import them from Europe.”
Life is just so different now. The amount of things we can do with Wilf, he’s so energetic and full of life. We went ice-skating the other day something we couldn’t have done before and he really enjoyed it. I don’t think people realise how debilitating Wilf’s eczema was. It drained him physically and emotionally. This treatment has been so good for him and after tow more trips to France I’m sure things will improve even more.”
Wilf will now head back to Barnacre Primary School in the new year and Sarah now wants to set up a charity to help others with Wilf’s condition.
She said: “We’ve received so much help from so many different people that I’d like to be able to give something back. I probably won’t start looking into it until we’ve completed the third lot of treatment but it’s definitely something I’ll look to do in the future. For so long we didn’t know what to do and after setting up Wilf’s Facebook campaign with seen lots of other people in the same condition. It really is hell and there’s no other way to put it and that’s why I want to set up something that will provide the information people need to deal with it and a way of raising money to have the same life-changing treatment Wilf has received.
“I just want to say a huge thank you to everyone who has helped us raise money or just given us support. We wouldn’t be where we are now without you all.”