A family who set up an appeal to raise £7,000 to pay for a private operation to save their three-year-old boy from ‘constant pain and suffering’ has thanked Islanders following the life-changing procedure.
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 confirmed he required an urgent grommet operation to stop recurring middle-ear infections as well as needing his tonsils and adenoids removed to help aid his problems.
The operation took place last Thursday (April 15) after the appeal target was reached within four days through donations and a variety of sponsored events.
Charlotte said: “Joey did not react to noise or sound and this caused him distress and meltdowns. Having to watch your child be in pain every day was heart-breaking, knowing there was nothing else we can do.
“When he had an ear infection it was relentless, as he couldn’t tell us and minutes of him sobbing uncontrollably felt like hours. It was confirmed he had glue ear and his eardrums were on the verge of perforating.
“The operation has taken place and everything is looking positive. We are so grateful to all those people who donated to the fund and who played their part in fundraisers. The IW Observer have supported us from the beginning and we have shared your stories on our ‘Joey’s Journey’ Facebook page.
“This has not just changed Joey’s life; it’s changed our lives as well and we are so grateful.”
Joey and his parents travelled to London for the operation last Monday.
Charlotte added: “We had to stay with Joey while we all had Covid tests and then self-isolate for 48 hours. The operation was scheduled for 2.45pm on Thursday and lasted just half-an-hour.
“We stayed overnight while he was in observation to make sure there was no adverse reaction. He’s doing well and is happy within himself. He’s on painkillers and antibiotics for a fortnight and will be checked up within six weeks to make sure everything has healed.
“After that he will be able to get back in the water for aqua therapy with a physiotherapist.
“It also means he can eat solids for the first time. Previously, because his tonsils were so enlarged and infected, he could only swallow liquid and pureed food.
“This is life-changing for him, and for us; he will be completely different and it’s such a joy for us. He is going to benefit from this for the rest of his life. Thank you everyone.”