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Faversham family of terminally-ill Thomas Fryer raising money so he can visit koalas on birthday

The family of a terminally-ill little boy are raising money to take him to visit koala bears for his second birthday.

Thomas Fryer was born with life-limiting brain condition lissencephaly, and is tragically not expected to live far past the age of two.

Thomas Fryer from Faversham, with his brothers Frankie, five, and Jayden, 10. Picture: Jasmine Legg
Thomas Fryer from Faversham, with his brothers Frankie, five, and Jayden, 10. Picture: Jasmine Legg

The Faversham youngster - who is currently in hospital with Covid - is set to celebrate his birthday on May 31.

To make it as special as possible, Thomas’ parents hope to take him and his brothers to see koalas - which hold a special place in their hearts - at Longleat Safari Park in Wiltshire.

Thomas, who has the developmental age of about three months, is unable to walk or talk and has epilepsy.

He has endured many hospital visits in his short life and is registered blind, although he still has a small amount of vision.

Following a “bad year” in 2021, which saw him contract pneumonia and experience frequent seizures, he was doing well.

Thomas with his brothers and mum, Jasmine Legg
Thomas with his brothers and mum, Jasmine Legg

But after developing a temperature and a cough, Thomas tested positive for Covid on Tuesday evening and was blue-lighted to Ashford’s William Harvey Hospital.

His mum, Jasmine Legg, said: “He is poorly - he’s on quite high oxygen.

“He’s got a high heart rate and temperature. I’m just hoping it’s not too long a stay.”

Jasmine, 30, explained that many youngsters with lissencephaly - which affects just one in 100,000 children - have a life expectancy of 10 years.

“But if they’re on the more severe end where their brain is completely smooth, like Thomas, they’re not likely to live much past two,” she said.

Thomas' family call him 'our little koala'
Thomas' family call him 'our little koala'

“Obviously the doctors don’t always get it right.

“We want Thomas to live forever. But that’s what I was told when he was diagnosed.

“That’s one of the reasons why we want to make his second birthday so special.”

Jasmine says a trip to Longleat, home to England’s only koalas, would also give Thomas’ brothers Frankie, five, and Jayden, 10, some special lasting memories.

The cuddly marsupials are very special to Thomas’ family.

“Koalas have smooth brains like Thomas has, so we just took a big love to them,” said his mum.

“We call Thomas our little koala.”

It is thought the family trip, including an overnight stay nearby, would cost about £500.

Jasmine plans to carry out fundraising initiatives to help pay for the trip.

She is keen to hear from any local businesses willing to donate items such as restaurant vouchers, that may be raffled off.

For more information, visit ‘Thomas’s precious journey with Lissencephaly’ on Facebook or donate here.

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