Mum in plea to help ‘light of my life’

Pictured with William is mum Suzanne, stepdad Mark Atherton and sister Zoe
Pictured with William is mum Suzanne, stepdad Mark Atherton and sister Zoe
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A WIGAN mum has launched a fund-raising campaign for her severely disabled son.

Nine-year-old William Brookfield suffers from lissencephaly or smooth brain, a rare condition which means the brain fails to develop properly during pregnancy and has a completely smooth surface.

William cannot walk, sit up or hold himself upright, cannot speak and is registered blind, though he is able to see bright lights.

He also needs a tracheostomy, or artificial airway, in order to breathe properly, and suffers from scoliosis, or curvature of the spine.

His mum Suzanne, 41, now needs to find £5,609 to buy a special bed for him which will prevent his condition getting any worse, and is being supported by disabled children’s charity Newlife Foundation.

She had hoped to do a aeroplane wing walk but was unable to afford the insurance costs, and is now considering going kayaking or organising a group to walk the Inca Trail in South America with Newlife.

Suzanne, of Wotton Drive, Ashton, said: “William has a special bed but it’s one he’s had since he was very young and it’s getting too small for him now.

“We have a special system which will keep his spine in line and stop his hips dislocating, but it’s currently packed away in a box as it doesn’t fit his current bed.

“When you can’t hold yourself up, stand or bear your own weight you will start leaning to one side, and if that becomes severe it can damage your lungs or internal organs and become a huge problem.

“As he relies on a tracheostomy to breathe and needs oxygen therapy throughout the night, a specialist bed that tilts him up would help his breathing too.”

William’s condition means the family is regularly in and out of hospital, as his disabilities have severely limited the development of his immune system.

Despite his terrible disabilities, Suzanne says William is a very happy little boy who lights up her life and that of her partner Mark Atherton, 47, and her two daughters Zoe, 23, and Megan, 15.

She said: “Zoe’s currently studying paediatric nursing at Manchester University, and I think she wants to be a nurse because of William. She had no interest in anything like that before he was born.”

To help William, contact Newlife Community Fundraising Team on 01543 462777 or 0800 9884640.