A children's charity set up by a grieving mother has helped the family of a two-year-old as he battles major health problems.
Max Pedelty, who will be three next month, has been in and out of hospital since he was born after doctors discovered he had cysts on his brain, a hole in his heart, severe hypotonia and transient form of leukaemia only found in children with Down’s Syndrome.
But throughout his trials, little Max, of Willington in County Durham, has always kept a smile on his face.
“He just smiles all the way through,” said mother Mandy, 37. “He has major respiratory problems and was struck down with pneumonia 14 times in his first year. We were always in hospital and we were always getting blood counts due to the transient leukaemia which could become full blown leukaemia at any time.
“It was one week before his first birthday when he was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukaemia. We had a rough year and he started treatment and we basically moved into the RVI.”
The family were forced to split their time between their home in Willington and Newcastle’s Royal Victoria Infirmary as Max received chemotherapy.
On New Year’s Day last year Max fell into complete respiratory failure and contracted septicemia.
“I remember looking out the window and just thinking, ‘please let him live’,” said Mandy, who also has daughter Mollie, 14, and five-year-old son Joe with husband Trevor, 40. “He was in intensive care for three weeks, it was a horrible start to 2012.”
But following a rollercoaster start to life, Max was classed as in remission in May last year and was allowed to return home.
Now the toddler, who still has to make weekly trips to the RVI and suffers from sleep apnea, is getting a helping hand from children’s cancer charity, The Toma Fund.
The charity, run by Andrea Thompson who lost her son Jordan to the same cancer Max had, has donated an i-Pad to help his signing.
“He is pretty good at signing and that’s what the i-Pad is for,” said Mandy.
“I could not believe how much it helps him, playing matching games and such like. It really helps with his development.
“It was amazing the Toma Fund could help and Andrea is an amazing woman, she has been through the exact same thing as us,” she said.
Andrea, charity founder, added: “It’s great for us to be able to help Max but we could not do it without the support of everyone who backs the charity.”
To find out more about the Toma Fund visit www.tomafund.org
I remember looking out the window and just thinking, ‘please let him live’