Children’s charity helping two-year-old go on respite holiday after his open heart surgery


Leighton. - Credit: SUb

A children’s charity is working with a Weston family to help them go on a respite holiday after a two-year-old boy undergoes open heart surgery.

Zoe and Leighton.

Zoe and Leighton. - Credit: Archant

Leighton Singleton was born three weeks prematurely, and was rushed straight into intensive care as he was in respiratory distress.

Medics picked up on a heart murmur, and scans later showed he had two congenital heart defects which will need open heart surgery next year.

Mum Zoe said he does not let this stop him enjoying life, however.

She said: “He always has a smile on his face.

Leighton and his older brothers.

Leighton and his older brothers. - Credit: Sub

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“He loves swimming and he has two lessons a week. He is also a typical boy and loves climbing.

“He doesn’t let anything stop him. But he goes to nursery and gets so tired and he is usually asleep before lunch.”

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Doctors also suspect two-year-old Leighton has Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, a rare condition which can affect the connective tissue, including joints and skin.

Zoe, said: “Leighton is very flexible and his fingers bend quite far back.

“It has not been formally diagnosed because he is young, and kids are generally flexible, but everyone who comes into contact with him is aware of it because it could mean he can scar badly.”

Single parent Zoe contacted the charity Just 4 Children which helps youngsters with illnesses and disabilities receive therapies and short breaks which would not otherwise be available to them.

The aim is to raise £5,000 so the family, which includes Zoe’s two teenage sons, can take a much-needed break.

If the money is raised, they may be able to go away before Leighton’s heart surgery, but more likely it will be afterwards.

Zoe said: “I just deal with it all myself usually. We have so many hospital appointments between us.

“It would be lovely to go away and not worry about anything and have time together as a family.

“We have a lot of illnesses and disabilities in the family, so we don’t always spend quality time together.

“We are always going to one appointment and thinking about the next one.”

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