ONE SWINDON family is facing an uncertain Christmas after an eight-year-old boy has been left fighting for his life against constant seizures. 

The Howard family's life changed forever when then-five-year-old William developed a rare Mitochondrial Disease in 2020 that left him in an induced coma and almost killed him. 

He now needs constant care as his lungs need to be frequently drained, he is unable to walk properly and has essentially lost both his hearing and his eyesight.

But now, after just under three years of enjoying a relatively normal life including starting at a new school, Brimble Hill, William's condition worsened at the end of November and the regular seizures that left him with a 20 per cent chance of survival in 2020 have returned. 

His parents, Mihaela and Simon, now once again find themselves with their son fighting for his life in a specialist ward at Oxford as well as juggling caring for his younger sister Sofia and their jobs.

So to ease their burden, family friends Dave and Hayley Clarke - who themselves potentially face their last Christmas with their poorly daughter Addy - have set up a GoFundMe page. 

On the page, Hayley said: "We have walked a similar path in our own journey with disease for our little girl and dear friends set up a GoFundMe on our behalf.

Swindon Advertiser: William HowardWilliam Howard (Image: Mihaela Howard/Hayley Clarke)

"We were the beneficiaries of unbelievable generosity and kindness from strangers, friends and family. This generosity meant one worry was eased - that of the financial burden that the situation like William's family is in now."

She added: "Any pounds you can donate go toward fuel for this family to get between the hospital and home. It goes to parking at the hospital. It goes to overnight stay for one parent to catch up on sleep while the other stays beside their heartbeat - their beloved little child."

So far, the page has raised £6,175 of its £5,000 target and you can donate at

In the most recent update on William's condition from December 14, mum Mihaela said: "William is still fighting. He has been moved to another department but is still under intensive care.

"He is having good days but also bad days. He has days when in the morning he will smile at me and later cries in pain."

She added: "Thank you everyone for your amazing support in this difficult time for our family."