The family of a little boy paralysed in a car accident wants to raise £10k to help bring him home from hospital.
Two-year-old John James Michalowski from South Elmsall has been in Leeds General Infirmary since he suffered severe spinal injuries following a head-on crash on Hemsworth bypass in March.
The tot, who is paralysed from the chest down and will never walk again, has to use a ventilator to help him breathe when sleeping and the seven injuries to his spine mean he needs constant care and support.
His dad Igor, 30, and mum Katy, 27, are desperate to have JJ home from hospital and are aiming to raise £10k to buy specialist equipment, including a joystick controlled wheelchair, that will support him to sit upright and give him back some independence.
The Express is backing the family’s fundraising bid and is calling on the close-knit South Elmsall community to give its support.
Katy said: “Although JJ had been walking since he was nine months old, the morning of the accident he actually walked up and down the stairs for the first time like an adult would. It breaks my heart to know now he will never walk again.
“It is absolutely awful seeing JJ in hospital every day. I just want him to be able to have his own independence and play like all the other children.
“He can’t sit up by himself and he gets very frustrated at times that we have to do everything with him. He needs constant care and support for his back and we don’t have the equipment we need to be able to give him that.”
Express editor Mark Bradley said: “You can only imagine the anguish this family has been through in the last four months and as a newspaper we want to do all we can to try to bring them back together again soon.”
Katy added: “The accident has torn our family apart. We haven’t been back to work, we have barely left JJ’s bedside and his sisters Leah, 10 and Alicia, three, have had to move in with their great-grandparents while we are in hospital during the week.
“We don’t know yet when doctors will say that JJ is well enough to be discharged, but we want to be ready with the equipment for when that moment comes.”
Igor, Leah and Alicia were also hospitalised with internal bruising following the crash.
The family is holding a sponsored walk from South Elmsall to Hemsworth and back on Saturday, August 23.
A family fun day, with fairground rides, stalls, a bouncy castle, live bands and entertainment, a stunt show and ventriloquist will also be held at Moorthorpe Recreational Club on Sunday, September 21.
Anyone wanting to donate raffle prizes should contact JJ should contact Joanne Speight at Moorthorpe Club in 07799 117093.
The family has now set up an online donations page.
If you would like to donate money to help JJ and his family visit: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Help-Bring-JJ-Home/1449445605329901?ref=br_tf