LITTLE William Lloyd won’t remember this Christmas but his brave fight against a rare neurological condition has already inspired others to help children with the illness.
The three-year-old suffers from Dandy Walker syndrome, a congenital brain malformation which causes developmental delays and means he is currently at the stage of a six-month-old.
William needs a wheelchair and can’t walk or support his own weight, has problems with sight and hearing and has to be fed through a tube because he can’t swallow.
This year the Santa’s grotto at Emery Gate shopping centre in Chippenham will donate all funds to the Rainbow Trust Children’s Charity, which provides emotional and practical support to families who have a child with a life-threatening or terminal illness.
William, who attended the opening of the grotto with his mum Michelle, will have a Christmas to enjoy despite the fact he won’t be able to remember the day.
Michelle, from Old Town, said: “To him it will just be another day as he doesn’t know what Christmas is, but we are going to try and make it as fun as possible.
“If you are going on what a six-month-old is like they don’t normally remember or understand what’s going on. We are going to have lots of lights and have movies on at home, stuff that’s entertaining rather than presents and Santa Claus.”
Michelle and William attended the opening of the grotto last month, where the youngster enjoyed the lights and attention.
Michelle, 27, said: “The Rainbow Trust is in desperate need of more recognition and help. They rely almost entirely on donations and they need to employ more people. “For us the trust has helped us keep some appointments. William goes to appointments at two or three different hospitals in Oxford, Southampton and Bristol.
“If we have appointments a bit further afield they help us by taking us there and they will come and watch William for a couple of hours while I do the housework, because I can’t leave William for more than a few minutes at a time. It gives me a little bit of a break where I’m not constantly having to watch him.”
The grotto has taken over an entire vacant shop in Emery Gate with the addition of a Santa’s elves craft workshop, which will run throughout the whole of this month.