A fundraiser set up to raise £7,000 to pay for a private operation to save a three-year-old Lake boy from ‘constant pain and suffering’ has reached its target in just FOUR days.
Joey Stead was born to Charlotte and Barrie after a traumatic 72-hour delivery which left him with septicaemia and other health issues. He suffered his first seizure aged six months, and tests confirmed he had brain damage and several other problems including left-sided hypotonia, a term for decreased muscle tone.
After a visit to Great Ormond Street Hospital, a specialist has confirmed he needs an urgent grommet operation to stop recurring middle-ear infections and will also need his tonsils and adenoids removed to help aid his problems.
Charlotte said: “Joey does not react to noise or sound and this causes him distress and meltdowns. Having to watch your child be in pain every day is heart-breaking, knowing there is nothing else you can do. When he has an ear infection it is relentless, as he cannot tell you and minutes can feel like hours of him sobbing uncontrollably.
“Joey is generally a happy and content little boy within his own world. He loves to be taken for walks in his wheelchair and to play in his garden swing at home.
“I work part-time to care for Joey, while Barrie continues to work full-time. This way one of us can always be home to care for Joey with a small respite, as he attends a special needs nursery for nine hours a week.
“Last September, Joey suffered with reoccurring middle-ear infections which causes him tremendous pain. In February, we saw an ENT consultant and it was confirmed Joey has glue ear and needs an urgent grommet operation. However, due to Covid, there are currently no routine operations taking place here.
“We then saw a private consultant at Great Ormond Street Hospital to get a second opinion and was told that Joey’s glue ear is so severe his eardrums are bulging and on the verge of perforating again.
“Joey also needs an urgent grommet operation to stop the middle ear infections and will need his tonsils and adenoids removed as well to help aid his problems.
“We were given a date for the private operation on April 15, but it will cost £7,000. Joey is in desperate need of help to stop his constant pain and suffering, so we can now see light at the end of a very dark tunnel in which we have all been living in daily.”
Charlotte said they initially thought they might have to pay £2,000-£3,000 for the operation and were taken aback when told it would be £7,000. She added: “Obviously, we don’t have that kind of money and we weren’t sure what we were going to do. But we spoke to family and friends and decided on the GoFundMe page detailing ‘Joey’s Journey’.
“I put it up at 10pm on Friday night and when we looked on Saturday morning the money had already started coming in; we couldn’t believe it. We thought we might get £1,000 in total but to have reached the target in four days was stunning.
“I can’t thank everyone enough; it’s been incredible. We’ve been inundated with support from Island businesses, family, friends and strangers. We’re so lucky to be part of the incredible community.
“Several people, who I don’t even know, are going to do fundraisers for us, including running, cycling round the Island and a 48-hour DJ gig.
“We will now obviously raise more than £7,000 but, once everything is sorted, we will sit down and decide on a local charity and donate what’s left over. We really are overwhelmed by everyone’s kindness.”
Charlotte and Barrie would like to thank everyone for their support including: Salon 109 Sandown; Ryan and Zak from Apex Competition; Rob Iley for ‘Jog for Joey’ running 70 miles in 30 days; Karl Butcher, Steve Such, Paul Price and James Winkles for ‘Ride the Wight for Joey’ cycling 60 miles around the Island; DJ M Stone; Emily Blow for her community page; Katie Bridgeman & Nikki Burford for setting up a competition on their Facebook page ‘Dog Owners Isle of Wight UK’; Yelf’s Hotel, Ryde; Hewitt’s Restaurant, Newport, and all the small local businesses who have donated prizes for raffles and their families and friends. You can still contribute via gofund.me/ab24b916.