Campaign to help Ellis play in safety

Two year-old Ellis James Gooch was born ten weeks premature in 2014 and was taken straight to the NNU (Neonatal unit) as he weighed just 2lb 6oz.

Two year-old Ellis James Gooch was born ten weeks premature in 2014 and was taken straight to the NNU (Neonatal unit) as he weighed just 2lb 6oz.

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A Leyland toddler who weighed the same as a bag of sugar at birth has had a fundraising campaign launched to get him a safe place to play.

Two year-old Ellis James Gooch was born ten weeks premature.

He weighed just 2lb 6oz.

Because he was not fully developed at birth, the family were confronted with the devastating news that Ellis had a grade two IVH bleed on the right side of his brain as well as a cyst on his brain.

Ellis was also born with one testicle still growing inside his abdomen which needed to be operated on.

Now his family are raising money for a soft-play garden for their non-verbal little boy with special needs.

Despite his challenges, Ellis is an adorable young boy whose beautiful smile makes it hard to comprehend his suffering.

However, he unfortunately still has the following diagnosis; Non-verbal, unable to walk, global development delay, left sided weakness, learning difficulties, VSD (ventricular septal defect) and hypospadias.

His neurologist believes a lot of these issues are due to the bleed which has caused brain damage.

His mother Kerrie Waterworth said: “It is very hard for Ellis to engage with anybody particularly when he is still non-verbal and unable to walk.

“Our daughter is always trying to play with her little brother like normal siblings do but unfortunately this is a real struggle and we just want to give Ellis a special place where he can enjoy playtime and learn.”

The Waterworth family have been raising money through the crowdfunding website GoFundMe to allow them to build a soft-play area in their garden for Ellis to enjoy, harm free.

The area will also be used for Ellis to complete his daily physio needed in a comfortable, home environment.

Kerrie added: “It can be very difficult at times for the family, Ellis does not cuddle or kiss and it is very difficult for us to know what his wants and needs are.

“On top of his physical ailments, specialists have also begun testing him for autism.

“We hope this garden will help him not just physically but mentally too.”

Kelsea Little, spokesperson for GoFundMe.com said: “After such a difficult start to Ellis’s life, he truly deserves this garden so he can play in a safe environment. The GoFundMe team wish the family every success with their continued fundraising.”

To date, GoFundMe fundraisers have raised £1 billion for a whole host of different causes from medical expenses, education costs, volunteer programmes, youth sports to funerals & memorials – even animals and pets.

A GoFundMe page has been set up for Ellis at www.gofundme.com/ellis-gardenprojec