Mum launches holiday appeal

A PORTISHEAD mum has launched an appeal to raise enough money to take her severely disabled son on holiday.

A PORTISHEAD mum has launched an appeal to raise enough money to take her severely disabled son on holiday.

Kaddy Thomas wants to collect �5,000 so she and four-year-old Elijah Hodges can enjoy a two-week break in Cornwall.

For two-and-a-half-years Elijah has endured numerous medical treatments and hospital visits since he became brain damaged following an operation to relieve the symptoms of the rare genetic disorder, Aperts Syndrome.

Now he requires round-the-clock care, which is made all the more difficult as Kaddy also suffers from the condition.

Kaddy, aged 42, said: “I have had two-and-a-half years of pure trauma and I am exhausted.

“Because I have disabilities of my own we need carers in the home 24 hours a day.

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“We rarely get any time to ourselves.

“It has been a frustrating, painful, traumatic and emotional upheaval.

“But, we have also been made strong as a family.”

Affecting less than one in 150,000 people, Aperts Syndrome can result in many health problems, the most common being an abnormally shaped head and face.

This occurs when the developing bones of the skull fuse together too early, meaning the brain does not have room to grow properly and parts of the skull become distorted.

Elijah was born with the condition, which also resulted in him having an isolated cleft palate, causing breathing and speech difficulties, as well as fused fingers and toes.

At the age of one, he underwent an operation at Birmingham Children’s Hospital to relieve the pressure on his brain.

This involved inserting screw-like distracters into his skull, which would be turned at regular intervals.

However, after having them removed six months later, it was discovered he had become brain damaged.

He spent 10 months in hospital with doctors fighting to save his life and a further 15 months were spent at the Children’s Trust in Surrey for Elijah to have rehabilitation treatment.

Then, in November last year, Kaddy and Elijah moved to Down Road in Portishead.

Kaddy said: “When we moved in I thought ‘thank god we are going to be in a home again’ and thought my life would be less stressful.

“However, since then we have probably spent another two months at Bristol Children’s Hospital.”

To enable Kaddy and Elijah to go on holiday on August 21, they also need carers to go with them, resulting in higher costs that they need help paying.

Applications have been made to charitable trusts but Kaddy also hopes businesses and people in North Somerset could help.

To make a donation, cheques made payable to The Elijah Hodges Appeal can be sent to 22 Down Road, Portishead, BS20 6EA or money can be paid directly into the account at Portishead’s HSBC branch with the sort code 40-37-33 and account number 81483943.