Appeal launched to help Ezra Caulton from Easton-on-the-Hill have a place to play
A family has launched a ‘DIY SOS’ appeal to help their little boy, who has mobility issues, be able to play safely.
Five-year-old Ezra Caulton was born prematurely, at just 28 weeks, and has global development delay, which means he cannot walk or run like most other children his age.
Thanks to the support of fundraisers, his parents Beverley and Andy have been able to buy a special pushchair to help Ezra get out and about and now need help to make the garden at their home in Easton-on-the-Hill a safe place for him to play.
“Ezra has high muscle tone in his legs which means he can only walk on his tiptoes,” his mum explained.
“He constantly falls over but always tells me ‘I’m okay’ and tries to get back up again.
“He has had splints fitted, which his specialists hope will be able to get his feet to be flatter to the floor. He has been using a ‘Kaye Walker’ (a walking frame on wheels) but he gets tired with it and the new pushchair means we will be able to take him out to places, as he is now too heavy and too big to be carried.
“We want to create a safe place for Ezra to play in his back garden. It is currently very uneven and three quarters of it is mud. Many fence panels need replacing and it is far from safe for a wobbly little monster like ours!”
The couple were clearing and fixing the garden when Andy was laid off from his job as a machine operator due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Ezra just loves to be outside,” Beverley said. “But of course it is difficult for him. He is just a happy- go-lucky, cuddly boy.”
Their little boy, who has a nine-year-old brother, Brogan, first started showing signs that his development was delayed when he tried to sit up as a baby.
“He was not sitting up or walking as he should have been,” his mum said. “He started walking on his tiptoes and he kind of lollops. They think he may have cerebral palsy and we are waiting for an MRI scan to confirm the diagnosis but that has been delayed because of covid.”
Beverley, 37, had a normal pregnancy with Brogan but when she was 22 weeks pregnant with Ezra she started losing blood and was taken to Peterborough City Hospital.
Beverley had an emergency Caesarean section at 28 weeks. He weighed a tiny 3lbs.
“It was eight days before we could actually hold him but it was quite terrifying because he was on a beeper and surrounded by wires,” said Beverley.
“He began coming out for an hour here and there and was closely monitored, and the times he was allowed out were longer and longer. He came out of the incubator and then went into a heated cot.”
Ezra was in hospital for 13 weeks and the couple brought him home on Valentine’s Day.
Beverley is keen to share her story with other mums who may have had similar experiences, saying: “People need to know that they are not the only ones in the world who this happens to.”
An appeal to help support Ezra, who is a pupil at Ketton Primary School, has already more than halfway to its £1,000 target.
The family was overwhelmed when a woman in their village came forward with a pushchair that they were able to buy for just £100.
They now hope to keep working towards the target to be able to transform their garden for Ezra.
“It is so important for us to have a safe garden for him to play in,” Beverley explained.
“We are hoping that local traders will be able to come forward and help or donate materials to make the garden safe and fun for him – from electricians to garden landscapers, fencing or turfing – you name it!”
A fundraising appeal for Ezra can be found at this page of the GoFundMe website.
A Facebook page has also been set up, called Ezra’s Journey.
His auntie, Katherine Vernon, is planning a 26-mile hike in February and dad Andy, 39, along with friend Joe Wray, will be completing a sponsored walk from Deeping to Stamford dressed as Batman and Robin, with Ezra planning to join them for the last few metres using his walker.
People can email Ezra’s family using the address: Ezrasjourney2021@gmail.com