A TODDLER is to undergo treatment in Thailand which it is hoped will help him see after a fundraising target was smashed.
Lyle Duckworth, from Leeds, is registered blind after being born 15 weeks prematurely.
Earlier this year, the Yorkshire Evening Post reported on a £25,000 fundraising campaign started by his family to pay for stem cell injections in Thailand.
Now a massive £38,000 has been collected and Lyle is booked to have the treatment at the end of the year.
His mum Paula McGregor said: “We can’t believe it. I’m absolutely over the moon.”
Lyle, from Whinmoor, weighed just 1lb 13ozs at birth and had to be resuscitated after he was delivered.
The newborn was then on a ventilator for six weeks, and on four separate occasions, doctors asked his parents if they wanted turn off the machines keeping him alive as Lyle was so ill – which they refused to do.
Despite the fears of doctors, he has defied all predictions and can breathe and feed on his own.
But he suffered bleeding on the brain, which has left him with virtually no sight, and he has cerebral palsy, which badly affects his movement.
Doctors in Leeds can’t offer him any more treatment for his sight, apart from glasses which he has recently started wearing, so his parents researched what other options might be available.
They discovered the procedures in Thailand, which are not available in this country, but which cost at least £25,000.
After the two-year-old was accepted for treatment, his family started the fundraising campaign, raising the target to £30,000 after it proved a massive success.
Now that higher target has been met, Paula said their plans for the treatment had been finalised.
“Everything has been booked and we are ready to go,” she said.
“You don’t realise how much he needs his sight for balance.
“Because he has got a bit of sight to start with, there’s a good chance we can improve on what’s there.
“If he can regain some vision, it would improve his life massively.”
She said he was developing well but the extra money would fund intensive physiotherapy after he returned from Thailand, which would boost the benefits.
“He will have physio and hydrotherapy over there so this just carries on with that,” Paula added.
An array of events took place to support the fundraising for Lyle.
A charity night at Swarcliffe WMC was a huge success, while a party of 28 brave walkers – including Lyle’s dad – completed the Yorkshire Three Peaks.
Other fundraising fun included a cycle ride from Leeds to Scarborough which was completed by 28 riders.
Lyle’s mum said: “Massive thanks to everyone who has helped. It has been brilliant.”