A Sunderland mum is stepping up her efforts to raise awareness of a rare condition which can leave her little boy “screaming in pain”.
Jake Humes, three, has been diagnosed with Perthes disease, which sees him in excruciating pain in both hips.
The condition affects one in 20,000 children, usually boys, aged between two and 15.
It happens when the blood supply to the head of the femur is inadequate and the bone softens and breaks down.
If all goes well the tissue and bone will eventually regrow, but this takes several years.
Jake’s mum, Vicky Kirtley, 25, said in the meantime the little boy is facing years of excruciating pain, regular hospital visits and physiotherapy and could end up in traction.
He is screaming in pain and he can’t move his legs at allVicky Kirtley
Also, during this time, he is unable to play like other children in case he causes further damage to the hip socket and will most likely need to use a wheelchair.
But now she is stepping out to raise awareness of the condition and is appealing to generous Wearsiders to help her.
Vicky, who works for Sunderland City Council, said: “When he has a really bad episode it it heartbreaking, he is screaming with pain and he can’t more his legs at all and starts vomiting, it is pretty horrendous.
“Jake is a little boy who wants to be active and it’s hard not letting him play football or do other sports. He can’t go on bouncy castles or a trampoline or anything like that.
“It is quite a rare condition and it is especially rare for a child to get it in both hips.”
The single mum-of-one who lives in Thorney Close has gathered a group of family and friends together to do a sponsored walk next month to raise awareness of the condition and raise money for the support charity, Perthes Association, which gives a huge amount of support to youngsters and their families.
Jake, who is due to start St Cuthbert’s RC Primary School’s nursery in September, first became very ill with the pain in April in one leg and then in June the other leg started showing symptoms and this was when doctors diagnosed the condition.
Vicky, who lives in the Thorney Close area of the city, said: “It was such a shock and very upsetting, I had never heard of it before.
“You can see the problem on the x-rays where the little bits are coming off.
“It is devastating to see your child in so much pain.”
The sponsored walk will take place on Sunday, August 20, from Roker to South Shields and back and anyone who would like to sponsor the group can visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/jakehumes08.