A six-year-old boy who had to shield all year due to Covid-19 is now in recovery after breaking his leg within just 30 minutes of arriving at his first family holiday.
Thomas Maiden was diagnosed with life-limiting condition Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy ((DMD) in 2019 and had to shield throughout the Covid-19 pandemic – meaning having to stay within the confines of his garden while his friends could escape to the park.
The youngster was looking forward to his first family holiday with mum Elizabeth, 42, older sister and her partner, Thomas at Tattershall Lakes caravan park in Lincolnshire, but disaster struck just 30 minutes after arriving when he tumbled down the stairs of their accommodation.
Elizabeth told Hull Live : “It was the day we arrived, we had literally just got there and were unpacking the car when he cockled over.
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“I thought it was OK as he didn’t really cry, but he has a high pain threshold. The next day his leg was all swollen and bruised and I had to take him to Boston Hospital, where we found he’d broken his fibula.”
The family managed to stay on holiday a few days, with Thomas’ sister and her partner helping to lift him in and out of the caravan and into his wheelchair, but Elizabeth said they ended up cutting the trip short by three days as “we were all exhausted”.
The family, in South Cave, shielded after Thomas was identified as “extremely clinically vulnerable” due to the rare genetic condition which affects his muscles. Sadly there is no cure and the condition has a life expectancy of around 30 years.
Elizabeth said: “It’s been a horrendous year. I had to sit Thomas down and explain about having to stay at home when the pandemic started, and I’d turn the news off as children pick up all sorts.
“It was hard for him seeing friends going to the park when he couldn’t even leave the garden. That’s why we were so looking forward to the holiday.”
Thomas is now recovering, and was thrilled to return to school today for the start of Year 2 at his East Riding primary school.
“He was excited to get back to school and went off as happy as Larry in his wheelchair, showing everyone his 360-turns which he learnt in the summer,” said his mum.
The pandemic has also meant all the fundraising efforts for the family were curtailed as events were cancelled.
Thomas’ ongoing treatment and equipment needs means the family have to constantly fundraise for him, with every piece of equipment being costly.
He has private swimming in a hydrotherapy pool weekly which costs £70, to keep his muscle tone, however that all stopped during the pandemic.
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Elizabeth said: “It has definitely had an impact on his muscles not having the pool sessions, and now he can’t go because of his pot. If he was at a special school those sessions would be funded, but as he’s in mainstream school they’re not.”
The family said they would be grateful for any organisations or individuals who would like to start fundraising for them now that events and activities are opening up again.
Thomas will need different hoists as he grows, as well as further adjustments to his adapted bedroom and bigger specialist wheelchairs.