FRIENDS and family are rallying round to bring some comfort to a 14-month old baby with a condition that is baffling doctors.
Maddison Gill, who cannot cry, suck, swallow, gag or cough, is being discharged to her family home in Trull a week on Wednesday after spending her whole life in Musgrove Park Hospital, Taunton.
Her condition is so rare, doctors are unsure what has caused it and believe she could be the only person in the world who has it.
Maddison, who cannot control her muscles, walk or talk, and feeds and breathes through tubes, will need round-the-clock care, with carers staying over five nights a week and her gran, Angie Whatley, watching over her the other two nights.
But the bungalow, where she will also live with her parents, Gene Gill and Tamsin Whatley, needs an extension to house her bedroom, bathroom and a sensory play room.
Angie said: “We originally thought we’d have to move, but our landlord has agreed to an extension being built on to the bungalow with a bigger bedroom, more suitable bathroom and a sensory playroom.
“It’s going to cost several thousand pounds and friends have offered to help raise funds through sponsored events such as bingo, raffles, walks, cycle rides etc.
“We’re very grateful to everyone for their help and to numerous companies who have said they would donate prizes.”
Meanwhile, a heartless thief stole Gene’s mountain bike, which he was given as a Christmas present, when he was visiting Maddison in hospital.
Angie said: “It was locked outside the children’s unit, but someone went along with some wire cutters and took it.
“It’s really disheartening to think anyone could do such a thing.”