A DAD is cycling from Wisbech to Hunstanton to raise money for Great Ormond Street Hospital as a thank you for the care his son has received.
Jayden Smith, who recently celebrated his first birthday, has an extremely rare medical condition that has caused limb deformities and fused his gums together.
He has been under the care of the famous London children’s hospital since he was three days old and is due back there next week to have another operation.
Proud dad Michael Smith, of Verdun Road, Wisbech, wanted to do something to say thank you to GOSH and is planning the fundraising bike ride for December.
Jayden’s mum Samantha Freear had been told her unborn baby’s limbs had not developed properly after it was picked up in routine pregnancy scans, but they did not find out about the problem with his gums until after he was born.
Jayden is unable to open his mouth and is fed through a feeding tube. He is currently undergoing a pioneering procedure that will hopefully result in him being able to completely open his mouth.
His parents have been gradually tightening two screws under Jayden’s chin to move his lower jaw forward.
Michael said: “There are only about five people in the world like Jayden. The surgeon who will be doing his operation has operated on three of them. They can open their mouths enough to talk and eat, but he is doing Jayden’s operation in reverse to see if it works better. He’s a bit of a guinea pig! We’re hoping it will have an even better result.”
Jayden was also born missing limbs. One of his legs finishes above his knee and the other ends at his ankle. His right hand did not form and he only has a thumb and little finger on his left hand.
However, the plucky baby has not let his disabilities hold him back.
“He holds things and has already worked out how to swipe the screen of my iPhone to unlock it!” Michael said. “He can’t crawl but he bum-shuffles and gets around that way.”
The family are looking forward to Jayden being fitted with prosthetic legs, which should happen in around six months time. He is already attended physiotherapy sessions to build up his strength and improve his co-ordination and balance skills.
• If you would like to sponsor Michael’s cycle ride, there is a donation tin in Terry’s Cafe and a sponsorship form in DK Reptiles. Both can be found in Wisbech Market Place. If you are interesting in joining Michael on his bike ride, contact the Citizen on 01945-586133.