Belfast Telegraph

Can you help little Sam from Ballymena get to America for treatment to help him speak?

All six-year-old Sam's mum wants is to hear him say 'Mummy'.

Little Sam from Ballymena, Co Antrim is energetic, mischievous, loves car rides and cartoons.

However, the youngster is severely autistic and suffers from extreme learning difficulties.

His communication is little to none and his family struggle daily to work out what he wants.

All his family want is to hear him speak - but they need your help.

Sam can only eat certain foods at certain textures and specific drinks also at set times every single day, he also refuses to eat outside of his own home - meaning someone always needs to be at home to provide him with his meals.

Because of Sam's disabilities his mental age is that of a baby and his awareness of danger is zero.

The house has to be constantly locked, even when they are inside, to stop him from running out into the street.

His sister Kirsten said: "He constantly puts himself in risky situations and isn't aware of his own strength, he often takes fits because he's not able to communicate at all, as he is not able to speak."

The little boy doesn't like going outside of his comfort zone and it took years to get him used to going for tests.

Kirsten told the Belfast Telegraph: "He mainly stays in his room but because he is so sensory the blinds have to be closed and the lights turned off and his lava lamp and sensory lights are turned on, this helps keep him at ease.

"He is always on his tablet to watch cartoons and we have two for him because when one is out of charge he takes another fit so it's easier to always have one handy."

But the family believe everything could change for both Sam and them thanks to pioneering stem cell treatment.

However it is only available in America and the family have launched a fundraising campaign to help him get there.

She said: "The treatment would replace his damaged stem cells and hopefully improve his communication.

"All we want is to hear him speak like every little boy should be able to, all mum wants is for him to say mummy.

"We all give him the best quality of life he can have but the treatment would be a massive change, with over 88% success rate it could change all of our lives."

They are trying to hit a target of £20,000.

For more information on how to help Sam click here

Belfast Telegraph Digital


From Belfast Telegraph