Local Mother Makes Plea for Support

Hoping to fund son's rehabilitation after catastrophic illness

Gabriel has a cardiac arrest at school last November


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February 29, 2024

A local mother thought that Monday 27 November last year would be a normal day. Agnieszka Letniowska went to work after her sons went to school.

A couple of hours later she received a phone call saying that eight-year-old Gabriel had collapsed and an ambulance had been called.

He was admitted to the nearest hospital and then transferred into the intensive care unit at cardiac hospital. It turned out that Gabriel had suffered a cardiac arrest and, during the time his heart had stopped, a lack of oxygen led to brain damage.

He suffered Hypoxic-ischaemic stroke with damage in bilateral cortex and basal ganglia.

His mother says, “It’s difficult to describe how difficult, and devastating all of this was. I didn’t even know if my dearest son will be alive…I did not know if he is going to breathe on his own. There were possibilities that he will not be able to see, or hear…First three weeks I recall as a nightmare.”

His condition stabilised and he was fitted with a device to ensure there was no recurrence of any heart function abnormalities.

However, Gabriel now needs constant care, he is unable to use his hands, sit up or stand and has a feeding tube. He understands when people talk to him and he is able to communicate saying ‘yes’ or ‘no’ and his speech is developing slowly.

The potential for Gabriel to be rehabilitated is significant but it will take a long time. He has to do exercises, which he is very motivated to do, but the family need support in funding the specialist care he will need.

His mother was left to bring up her two sons four and half years ago when her husband died. She said, “That was a huge loss, and a shock for my family already. But this, what we are going through now, is even more heartbreaking.”

She has explored all avenues to get what support is available but Gabriel has to wait three months to attend a state-funded rehabilitation centre. Private neuro rehabilitation costs thousands of pounds a week as he would be required to be an inpatient. Currently he remains in the cardiac hospital as he cannot be discharged back to his home.

She has started a crowdfunding page on GoFundMe and so far has raised nearly half of her £50,000 target.

Agnieszka says, “I believe there are good people around, who will be able to help. Every passing forward, sharing, every single donation will mean a world to us.”

If you wish to donate to the appeal for Gabriel’s treatment, click here.

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