Groundforce is helping raise funds to support an Attachments colleague whose baby son is battling a rare illness.
James Holliday, who works for Sandhurst, part of Groundforce Attachments, welcomed his son Paddy into the world last June as a young brother to his daughter Nancy, three.
But it wasn’t long before he and his wife Catherine, a manager for Tesco, realised there was something wrong with their much-longed-for son and he was eventually diagnosed with KCNT1 - a rare form of epilepsy which has left him severely disabled.
Paddy was finally discharged from hospital, on four different epilepsy medications, when he was 11 weeks old. Since then the family say they have been on “the rockiest road possible” as they face an uncertain future with their son. At 11 months old, he still behaves like a newborn, suffering up to 50 seizures a day.
Catherine said: “Watching him have seizures doesn’t get any easier because he gets so upset afterwards.
We’ve also found out from a support group that 95% of these children don’t walk or talk and the life expectancy’s not great. There are some children who are eight or nine, but some don’t live past two or three!
KCNT1 is currently resistant to medication but Catherine and James have launched their own fundraising campaign to contribute to research that will hopefully give their son a future. And this is what Groundforce will support. Further details of exactly how the campaign will run will be announced later.
“The research into this gene is only in America and we are hoping by fundraising through Epilepsy Action they will start to research the gene in the UK. We live in hope that one day there will be some kind of treatment that can help our child live a seizure free life,” said Catherine.
James and Catherine had planned to do the Great North Run this year, but with uncertainty over the event due to Covid-19, are turning to other sources of fundraising including an online crowdfunding page and selling “#teamPaddy” mugs.
Catherine said: “We just want to make people aware of the daily struggles we have with our little boy and to raise awareness of Paddy's gene.”