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Home   Medway   News   Article

Fun day at St Francis of Assisi Church, Strood, to raise money for brave Oakley Orange

06 March 2014
by Thom Morris

After almost three months battling a life-threatening illness, the seven-year-old spent 80 days in a specialist burns unit after suffering an allergic reaction to medication.


Fundraising event, parents Lorraine and Steven, Maisie, 13, Ellis, 12, Tilly, 6, and Oakley.

Fundraising event, parents Lorraine and Steven, Maisie, 13, Ellis, 12, Tilly, 6, and Oakley.

Oakley lost all his skin, as well as fingernails, toenails and hair.

But he was guest of honour at a fun day held at the Galahad Avenue church on Saturday, organised by family friend Paula Butcher.

Little Oakley lost 100% of his skin

Little Oakley lost 100% of his skin

Oakley was joined by mum Lorraine, dad Steven, sisters Tilly, six, and Maisie, 13, and brother Ellis, 12.

Dad Steven said: “All of our friends were invited on Facebook and not a lot of people clicked to say they were coming so we’re overwhelmed by the number of people here. It’s incredible, they seem to have come out of nowhere.

"The fundraising started as a means of paying our travel expenses but now they’ve decided they want to send Oakley to Disneyland, the proper one.

“We haven’t really had anything to do with it, we keep ourselves to ourselves really and had just been using Facebook as a means of coping, talking about our experiences, and it really helped us through it.

“We’re so grateful for what’s happened here and all the
people that have been following our story.”

Barely room to move around the room, stalls were laid out selling cakes, drinks, sweets and treats, along with bric-a-brac and a bouncy castle.

There was candy floss, an auction, raffle, a pamper area and, after an exhaustive look around, there were hot and cold drinks and hot dogs to be had.

Oakley Orange fundraising event

Oakley Orange fundraising event

A face painter was kept busy throughout the day and swords made from balloons were the model of choice.

Oakley was given a 65% chance of survival after a severe allergy to medication for epilepsy.

Oakley Orange

Oakley Orange

The Bligh Junior School pupil was admitted to hospital on December 5 when his condition rapidly deteriorated.

He was diagnosed with a skin condition called Stevens Johnson Syndrome (SJS), where the top layer of skin becomes detached from the lower layers.

It left Oakley unable to breathe on his own and battling hypothermia. He could not speak, move or even open his eyes.

He was treated at a specialist burns unit and his skin has been gradually healing.

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