The plight of a five year old Forest Town lad who is at a high risk of stroke and seizures has moved a whole community.
Five-year-old Joshua Smith is a little closer to enjoying wha could be his last ever family holiday before he faces up to an eight-hour brain operation, thanks to a host of fundraisers
Joshua has a rare brain condition called Moyamoya and hs family want to take him on a holiday before his operation in Sheffield in September.
His mum Tina told Chad: “The doctors have said we can take him on holiday with his family first whilst he’s capable of enjoying it to the full.”
Moyamoya disease is a progressive disorder caused by blocked arteries at the base of the brain and symptoms include strokes and mini-strokes, muscle weakness or partial paralysis and seizures. Joshua is also epileptic and has neurofibromatosis type 1, which causes lumps to form under the skin, and he uses a wheelchair due to a twisted shin bone and nailpatella syndrome.
Joshua has already had one stroke at the age of 10 months and there is a higher risk of stroke after the operation due to the brain adjusting to the eight-hour operation.
Tina said: “Joshua has an amazing character and he is Mad on Fireman Sam. He is always smiling being really loud and makes new friends everywhere he goes,
“He said he really wants to go on an aeroplane and we would love to take him on holiday.
“We’re not aiming to do anything too exotic – just to take him on holiday with his three siblings to make some special memories and give him some fun, laughter and special memories. Anywhere that is wheelchair-friendly and has got a kids’ club with things to do would be fine, but we have to go in the school holidays and that makes it expensive.”
Joshua’s step dad Liam O’Callaghan, and work colleagues at Newark and Sherwood District Council have raised arioud £270 from a charity netball tournament, sweepstakes and donations to add to the £1,175 which the family has raised so far out of a target of £5,000.
Liam said: “I was absolutely blown away by the effort they all made and by the support,” said Liam. “It’s been absolutely phenomenal and I can’t thank them enough.”
Other fundraisers include Forest Town Primary School pupils who had anon uniform day and businesses around Forest town.
A Summer Party is being held for Joshua’s Holiday Memory Fund at the Forest Town Arena, Mansfield, on Sunday 17th May, 12-3pm, with bouncy castle, toy stall, cake stall and children’s bingo, entry £1.
To read more about Joshua’s condition and how to donate to the fund go to http://www.gofundme.com/pzbjtc