"It is him": Toymaker designs incredible custom Pikachu to look just like boy on transplant list
A kind-hearted Leeds toymaker has created an incredible customised Pikachu for a brave little boy who dreams of getting a life saving transplant.
Six-year-old Patrick Askham was born at 35 weeks with an illness called gastroschisis - a condition where the bowels and other organs are on the outside of the abdomen.
Unfortunately Patrick’s bowels were so matted at birth that once they were placed back inside him, they had to be removed just a few weeks later - leaving him with a short bowel.
Brave Patrick has battled through countless hospital appointments and trips to theatre during his short life so far.
Due to his extremely short bowel, Patrick's own remaining 9cm bowel is unable to absorb any nutrients so he is artificially fed via a broviac line which goes directly into his heart.
The decision was made to place Patrick on the donor registry for a Bowel transplant in 2018 and in December 2019 he received his first gift of life.
However, Patrick's body went in to severe rejection within 9 days and he developed PTLD - post-transplant lymphoproliferative disorder - a type of cancer to lymph nodes.
He has now been left with no bowel due to his advanced condition.
Patrick's mum Michelle said he has started to hate the look of the lines and tubes which keep him alive as he has got older.
Now, a toymaker from Leeds has made Pokemon-loving Patrick his own customised Pikachu doll - complete with lines and hospital equipment.
Nick Hardman, from Morley, has previously provided some much-needed comfort to 20 children in South Yorkshire after he donated the toys with miniature brain implants just like the ones they need to drain fluid from their brains.
Mr Hardman uses a 3D printer to design and produce custom cuddly toys with medical apparatus for children with different conditions, such as teddy bears with dialysis machines for young people with kidney failure.
In this case, Nick customised a Build a Bear toy which Patrick had chosen.
In a social media post, Nick said: "I designed a little TPN machine with his name on, and then made his teddy [to look] just like him.
"I designed the double drain, the fittings that connect his machine to his heart, I made him a little purple syringe like his, one of the drip machines I’d made for another child.
"I designed him a little stand that could hold his bags, and made bags in all of the colours just like his."
Patrick's mum Michelle said he absolutely "loves" his new toy.
She said: "Paddy's absolutely in love with him!
"He spent all day yesterday setting up Pickachu's Tpn, making sure he was sterile.
"He was emptying his bags and just generally doing his cares, just like mum and dad do for him."
Michelle said Patrick had struggled to "love himself" in the past.
"Now he has someone who is completely like him", Michelle said.
"Nick is amazing."
To donate towards Nick's work, visit: https://gofund.me/cd765d12
Support the YEP and become a subscriber today. Enjoy unlimited access to local news and the latest on Leeds United, With a digital subscription, you see fewer ads, enjoy faster load times, and get access to exclusive newsletters and content. Click here to subscribe.