Jan 23 2014 by Sophie McCoid, Ormskirk Advertiser
A FUNDRAISER is being held to help raise money for a four-year-old boy described as a “little ray of sunshine”.
Leon-Paul Salamanca Walsh, from Ormskirk, can neither walk nor talk but the joy he has brought to his family is immeasurable, according to his mum Toni-Marie.
An Easter party is due to be held in support of the Love for Leon appeal at Base Dance, Ormskirk, on April 19.
Leon is yet to receive a formal diagnosis for his illness but it’s believed that he is suffering from some form of regressive genetic condition. Mum Toni-Marie, 30, said: “Leon was fine when he was born up until he was a year old, but then he failed to meet milestones such as starting to crawl and we suspected something was wrong, then every time we gave him some food he would bring it back up again, it was heart-wrenching.”
Leon was subjected to several tests and doctors at first thought he had severe asthma, but X-rays showed that every time Leon ate something a small part would go directly into his lungs as his muscles weren’t able to function properly.
This discovery, in April last year, means that Leon now has to be fed through a tube as eating normally could cause his lungs to collapse.
Toni-Marie said: “The transformation in him after he had the tube was amazing. Before he was very pale but now he’s full of life and joy.
“The local community has been amazing and have helped us to buy a wheelchair swing for Leon so he can play in the park, which he loves.
“It’s been a very hard three years and we’ve visited the hospital around 60 times with Leon, but you just have to keep going and he’s an incredible child who everyone falls in love with after meeting him.”
Leon started to attend Kingsbury school full-time this year and has thrived among his fellow classmates.
The fundraiser in April is to help towards specialised physiotherapy for Leon and for specialised equipment such as a hydro-bath which will help with his muscle development.
At the moment, Leon receives physiotherapy but Toni-Marie believes a specialised neurological physiotherapy that centres on the nerves would be very beneficial to his progress.
Toni-Marie continued: “We’re just trying to stay positive and happy. The support from all of our family and friends has been brilliant and Leon is just all smiles and laughs.
“He blows kisses at people in shops and dances around – he’s incredible.”