Strood schoolboy Oakley Orange was given a 65% chance of survival after a severe allergy to medication.
Oakley had to be wrapped in bandages from head to toe
The seven-year-old was struck 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 and battling hypothermia and a lung infection. He couldn’t speak, move or even open his eyes.
Over the last two months, he has been slowly getting stronger and his skin has been gradually healing. Last week, he moved from the intensive care unit to the children’s burns ward.
Oakley is getting better and smiling again
His mother Lorraine, who has been at Oakley’s bedside since he was admitted to hospital on December 5, said: “Oakley is smiling and giggling again. There were times when we didn’t think he would get this far. But he is a strong little boy, he is amazing.
“It looks promising. We are hoping in the next few weeks or months he will be well enough to come home but that could change at any point.”
She added: “Oakley needs to learn to walk again and he still has a feeding tube but his skin seems to be healing and he is slowly getting there. We can definitely see light at the end of the tunnel.”
When Oakley was first admitted to hospital, friend Nina Chaplin set up a fund to help with the family’s travel expenses to and from the hospital. Now Oakley is on the mend, the fund is collecting to send him, Lorraine, dad Steven and Oakley’s brother and sisters, Maisie 13, Ellis, 12, and Tilly six, on holiday to Disney World in Florida.
Oakley before his illness
Lorraine said: “I would have been happy with just taking Oakley to the Disneyland in Paris but they have insisted they want to raise money for the whole family to go to the one in Florida.
“Oakley has the holiday as his aim now. He knows he has to get better so he can go and enjoy it.”
Among events being organised is a fun day at St Francis of Assisi Church Hall, Galahad Avenue, Strood, on Saturday, March 1, from 2pm to 5pm.