A four-year-old boy with a rare illness needs the help of Lancashire residents.
Jude Houseman’s family hope an appeal for funds to buy their son a special £2,765 buggy will gain more local support.
Despite previous appeals sufficient funds have not yet been raised
The plea for fund raising comes from the family and disabled children's charity New Life which has loaned an emergency buggy to Jude.
The new year has brought good news for the family after medics decided Jude can soon come home for long weekends after nine months in hospital.
But their son’s return home will only be possible because Newlife has loaned the buggy and equipment to the family - and the buggy is due to be returned.
Dad Damien, 37, said: "The loan (period) for the buggy is due to run out on January 24. Hopefully they’ll extend the loan because we’re getting Jude home from (a) Thursday to Sunday. Without the buggy we couldn’t bring him home. What Jude has got is incurable but manageable.”
He said he has put money towards the buggy fund and a previous appeal has raised some £500.
Damien said Jude’s case also highlights the urgent need for provision of such specialist equipment through the NHS.
Jude, who has spent months in the Royal Manchester’s Children’s Hospital, does not produce a vital enzyme. This affects his muscles and caused his diaphragm to collapse. A tracheostomy and a ventilator have helped the four year old survive. His condition also means he has also lost the ability to walk and he receives regular enzyme replacement therapy
The family moved to a bungalow on Norton Road, Garstang from Poulton three months ago in order to have a property which suits Jude’s needs.
It is hoped Jude can start his home visits at the end of February or early March, once appropriate care support is organised.
The decision to allow Jude to come home for short stays was taken after he successfully came home for a few days recently.
The buggy loaned by charity Newlife provides extra support for Jude and also has space for emergency equipment, an oxygen cylinder and suction machine which are needed to keep him alive.
It has enabled his dad and mother Karen to take him out of hospital for visits to places such as the Lego Discovery Centre, Sea Life Centre, the War Museum and Tatton Park.
Damien said: “We’ve been all over with him and it’s a direct result of having that buggy. It’s made a massive difference to Jude because it helps with his posture as well. He loves being out and about. He enjoys lots of different things and is quite active mentally. The more we can get out and about the more we can keep him entertained.We’re building memories.”
Damien is doing 10 10k runs in 10 months to raise awareness and funds for both Newlife and the Ronald McDonald charity. He said the family wants to support the latter charity too because it enables them to stay over at the hospital by providing accommodation in a special house.
His work colleagues have already donated £900, which has been split between the two charities.
Damien also thanked Smythes Toys of Preston for donating toys for patients.
• If you can help send a cheque payable to Newlife to Newlife Charity for Disabled Children, Newlife Centre, Hemlock Way, Cannock, Staffordshire, WS11 7GF.Mark the envelope “Jude’s Fund”. Alternatively you can donate £10 by texting JUDE10 to 70070 or call Newlife on 01543 431444.
• A charity fundraising night and raffle is also being planned.