Pupils skip to the aid of sick pal McKenzie

my family: Hayley and John Cayton with their sons, from left, Elliot, Harrison and McKenzie
my family: Hayley and John Cayton with their sons, from left, Elliot, Harrison and McKenzie
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Energetic youngsters have been skipping class to help raise money for one of their sick schoolpals.

Pupils from St Andrew’s Junior School in Leyland are rallying round neighbours of seven-year-old McKenzie Cayton to try to raise money for a vital extension at his home.

They held a sponsored skip and ran races to boost a fund set up by his neighbours to build him a special bedroom.

McKenzie suffers from gastroschisis a serious bowel disorder and has undergone numerous serious operations since he was born with his bowel outside his stomach. He is fed via a tube and also has heart problems.

Now though he needs another operation, which could mean him spending up to 18 months in hospital, unless New Progress Housing Association agrees to fund a sterile wetroom and bedroom.

Younger brother Elliot, 21 months, suffers from a congenital heart defect and is also fed through a tube.

Mum and dad Hayley and John spend the bulk of their time going to and from hospitals in Manchester and Liverpool with the two boys and rely heavily on neighbours to look after their middle son Harrison

Hayley said: “McKenzie needs a TPN feed line putting in but if he doesn’t have a sterile area he will have to stay in hospital.

“We only live in a two-bedroomed semi with all the boys in one room.

“We’ve asked for an extension but the housing association wants the occupational therapist to come and see if they can adapt the house or build on to it.The garden is huge.”

However, the family is worried that the adaptation may be too costly or not practical which could mean moving from Welsby Road in Leyland, so the neighbours and school are trying to help.

Hayley added: “We spend nearly all our time either at the hospital or looking after the boys.

“My neighbours are our support network. My dad is disabled and housebound so I rely on the neighbours to take the children for me to give me break or when we’re at hospital. If we have to move we will lose that and I don’t know how we will manage.”

Neighbour Sharon Shirley and her partner Dave Bailey-Jackson have started fund rising to try to help pay towards the extension.

Sharon, who has two grown-up daughters, said: “ They desperately need this wetroom and bedroom adding to the house and we are trying to do what we can. I’ve been on to local firms and businesses to see if they can donate materials or at lest provide them at cost.

“We live next door and support them as much as we can. Neither Hayley or John drive so if they need to go to the hospital we drive them to and from. We always have one or even all three of the boys to try to give them a chance to have a break or get on with the housework.”

The couple have also organised a fund raising night at the local Royal British Legion Club in August.

A spokesman for New Progress said the housing association was awaiting official reports from occupational therapists on the family’s needs.