Family faces financial struggle over sick tot's medical treatment
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AN Easter Ross couple desperate to be close to their baby son as he undergoes life-changing medical treatment this week spoke of their anguish over his ordeal.
Five-month-old Thomas Sim was born with talipes – also known as clubfoot – and is being treated at the Royal Hospital for Sick Children in Edinburgh.
Thomas needs casts put on his leg every week for around eight weeks – but the Invergordon-based family have discovered complications with his casts slipping, which can be dangerous.
That means they need to stay close to the hospital so any situation can be dealt with quickly.
His parents John Sim and Kimberley Giles, both 27, are now on the hunt for somewhere to stay in Edinburgh – but still have to pay rent on their home in Easter Ross and are relying on the generosity of others to allow them to stay with their little boy.
"Thomas is classed as an outpatient so we don’t get any help with somewhere to stay," Ms Giles said.
"John has only recently started a new job, so things have been really difficult. We started Thomas’s treatment but we noticed quite quickly that the casts kept slipping. That can be dangerous.
"He also needs an operation to release the tendon at the back of his foot. He will have the casts on for a number of weeks and after that, he will get shoes with a bar which will keep his feet in a normal position.
"He will have to wear that full-time at first and then part-time until he is about five.
"This treatment is so important for him because the condition is life-altering, but the situation just now is horrible.
"All our worries should be about Thomas but because we are having to think about how we are going to afford somewhere to stay in Edinburgh, as well as paying rent on our home in Invergordon, we are having to worry about so many other things as well. It has impacted on our whole family."
Kimberley’s parents live in Dingwall. Her husband is working as a bus driver.
The family have started a GoFundMe page to help with the costs of their accommodation and Ms Giles admitted she has been blown away by the response from their family and friends.
"People have been amazing," she added.
"Without our family and friends we wouldn’t have been able to do this.
"It’s not just about the fundraising for us. It’s also about raising awareness of Thomas’s condition and our situation, because we had absolutely no idea about any of the long-term issues we would be facing.
"What me and John both want is for people to be aware of what is involved."
Well-wishers have already voiced their support. Tina Mabey said on the crowdfunding page: "I hope and pray that everything works out for you little Thomas. You are a fighter and a star.Lots of love and hugs little one xxx."
To help with the family’s fundraising effort visit gofundme.com/thomasclubfootjourney