THE grateful parents of a toddler stricken by an unknown virus when he was a baby have decided to raise money for a children’s charity as a thank you.
Liam Vicarey, who is three, lost virtually all of his muscle tone after suddenly falling ill when he was five months old.
The condition means he cannot speak, support his head or sit unaided.
The Tree of Hope Children’s Charity, based in Bexhill, is helping towards the cost of specialist therapy for Liam at The Advance Centre in East Grinstead to help him regain the use of his muscles.
To that end Liam’s mum, Chrissie Buckingham, of Rye Road, his dad, Edward, and the rest of his family are battling to raise £2,500 for the Tree of Hope.
Mrs Buckingham told the Observer: “One day Liam had a big lump on the back of his neck when he was five months old and doctors at the Conquest Hospital thought it may have been caused by a car seat after we went out in the car.
“But that night he started screaming and we thought we were going to lose him.
“He was rushed to hospital with a high temperature and was there for a week.
“Two-and-a-half years on, Liam has been left quite severely disabled. Physiotherapy and hydrotherapy have not helped.
“The virus eradicated all of his muscle tone so he is like a floppy rag doll.
“Whether it was the virus or something he was born with that caused this we still don’t know.”
She said a recent chromosome test showed an abnormality but it was still ‘early days’ in finding out what caused Liam to fall ill, despite numerous other scans and blood tests.
His mum added: “Even though Liam can’t speak and is visually impaired, he knows when you are playing with him and is a very happy little boy.”
If anyone would like to help Liam’s family’s fundraising efforts log onto www.justgiving.com/Chrissie-Buckingham.