Fund-raising bid to build a future for disabled Joshua

Michelle Marina and son Joshua Martina-Hopkins who in 2004 shortly after his first birthday developed a virus and has been having operations ever since. They are fund raising for a house extension to cater for his needs.'Copy picture of the family, Michelle Martina, Michael Hopkins, Joshua and sister Danielle Martina, 11
Michelle Marina and son Joshua Martina-Hopkins who in 2004 shortly after his first birthday developed a virus and has been having operations ever since. They are fund raising for a house extension to cater for his needs.'Copy picture of the family, Michelle Martina, Michael Hopkins, Joshua and sister Danielle Martina, 11
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Since being struck down by a sickness and diarrhoea bug shortly after his first birthday he has been left brain damaged with Acute Striatal Necrosis.

The rare condition kills off the nerves in the part of the brain that controls movement.

Michelle Marina and son Joshua Martina-Hopkins who shortly after his first birthday developed a virus and has been having operations ever since. They are fund raising for a house extension to cater for his needs.

Michelle Marina and son Joshua Martina-Hopkins who shortly after his first birthday developed a virus and has been having operations ever since. They are fund raising for a house extension to cater for his needs.

Joshua now requires round-the-clock support and care and will never recover despite undergoing deep brain stimulation procedures.

He can’t speak but attends Woodbank Special School, Luddenden Foot, and his family hopes that with more treatment he will retain some control over his movements.

Mum Michelle, dad Michael and sister Danielle, 11, are now setting up a trust fund.

The aim is to build an extension at the family home, at Low Laithes, Sowerby Bridge, and raise awareness of his illness.

The family also want part of the fund-raising used to support good causes that have helped Joshua such as Woodbank and Evelina Children’s Hospital, London.

Michelle said their home needed adapting to cope with his future needs, which would include a lift and the support already shown from family and friends was overwhelming.

The onset of epilepsy followed the deep brain stimulation treatment and after several chest infections Joshua became seriously ill with pneumonia.

“We had a perfectly healthy child but he never recovered from that virus,” said Michelle, a part time worker at Calderdale Smartmove.

“Josh’s condition is very complex and puzzles top doctors and we need to plan long-term because he is not going to get better.

“It has been difficult but Joshua likes his cuddles, is aware of what is going on and is a daddy’s boy.”

Events planned include a charity ball next year, a calendar and a friend’s 16-year-old daughter has pledged a sponsored head shave.

The family is currently looking forward to next month when the Make A Wish Foundation has arranged for them to visit Euro Disney as Joshua loves his Disney DVDs.

www.joshuastrust.co.uk