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Thursday, 02 July 2015

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Barrow family overwhelmed by public support

GENEROUS locals have helped the family of Leon O’Neill build an extension to their Barrow house so the courageous 10-year-old can come home from hospital.

BRAVE Leon O’Neill,

It took just days for people to rally together to raise more than £13,000 and also offer time,

labour and materials, so Leon O’Neill could have his Barrow home adapted.

The youngster, who has twice fought leukaemia, tragically suffered irreparable brain damage after having rare and catastrophic side effects to urgent treatment for the glandular fever virus at the Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital.

The Newbarns Primary School pupil, who last summer had a bone marrow transplant, is now in a vegetative condition. Medics have said he will not recover and he is receiving palliative treatment.

Leon is at Furness General Hospital and his new facilities at Middlehill, in Newbarns, are at an advanced stage. The roof is on and the window and doors are going in. Soon the interior will be decorated and fitted out and then Leon can go home.

Compass has been the main construction firm working on the build, but the whole project has involved many individuals and companies.

The Evening Mail set up a Crowdfunding page online for Leon which had a huge response. The page was originally set up to raise £20,000, but because of all the donations of money, cheques, fundraising events, offers of expertise and material, the online target was capped at £5,000 at the request of the family, who said they did not want to accept more than they needed.

The family continued fundraising with activities which were for Leon’s ongoing needs.

Speaking about seeing Leon’s room being completed, his mum, Caroline Bottrell said: “It’s overwhelming. The extension is up and the roof is on now, it’s all being made watertight.

“Everyone has worked really hard and it looks really good. So many people have been involved in the building work, the materials and the fundraising. We are very grateful to everyone. The generosity has been amazing and we are overwhelmed.

“The extension has come on really well and it has been fast, that was very important because we want Leon home.

“I’ve been telling Leon what is happening and that he will be coming home soon.”

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