VIDEO: Fenton mum's 'Pyjama Day' will help poorly kids
THE mother of a youngster who suffers from a rare condition wants schools to join a special 'Pyjama Day' to help buy toys for poorly children.
Joy Heslop, aged 40, of Elliot Road, Fenton, decided to raise money for the Cheethams Ward at the University Hospital of North Staffordshire after her seven-year-old son, Billy, spent three months in the hospital last year.
Billy suffers from a life-threatening condition called primary intestinal lymphangiectasia, which means he has problems digesting food, is prone to malnourishment and has a weak heart.
Joy is now urging schools to take part in the event, on January 31, to raise £1,000 for children's entertainment at the hospital.
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She said: "We often have to take Billy to the hospital whether it's to have tests done or for him to receive treatment.
"When we go, we've noticed there aren't a lot of toys for children to keep them occupied.
"Billy was really poorly last year and had to spend a long time in hospital and we would go to get a DVD from the box but it would be empty, or pieces would be missing from a puzzle. It would be fantastic if we could raise enough money to buy new toys for the hospital."
Joy is hoping the event will also raise awareness of Billy's rare condition as January 31 is his birthday.
She said: "The thing is, illness can affect children at any time. Billy was perfectly fine when he was born and then he was diagnosed in 2011. This event is a great way for children to help raise money for other children." Schools already taking part include Glebe Primary School in Fenton, where Billy attends.
Deputy headteacher Suzanne Oakes-Smith said: "We have supported Billy and his family since his initial diagnosis and we are delighted to be able to give something back to the hospital, which has helped to look after him.
"The 'Pyjama Day' is a great way to have a bit of fun and raise money for the cause. Everyone including the staff and pupils will be dusting off their best pyjamas for the day."
Clarice Cliff Primary School has already raised £285 from a collection in December.