A very special visitor has arrived at the Petworth home of the Dallyn family to help two-year-old Lloyd through a difficult week.
He is Luke Bearowitz, a member of the American founded ‘travelling awareness bears’ family.
Luke, like young Lloyd, has lymphatic malformation.
He has travelled to Petworth to help raise awareness of the condition and support Lloyd through a tongue reduction operation at Great Ormond Street Hospital.
Luke arrived from America last week along with his bag of medical supplies and his folder complete with the stories of other children he has visited who all suffer from the same lymphangioma (LM) condition.
There are a series of bears in the family who suffer from a variety of conditions ranging from Pat and Patricia who help with paediatric stroke awareness, Chris and Chrissy who have congenital heart defects and Evan and Emma who have epilepsy.
Luke has a sister Leia.
The bears travel all over the world staying with children who suffer from the same conditions and not only help raise awareness of their conditions, but accompany the children on visits to their doctors and on stays in hospitals.
They carry stories of all the children they visit which are added to along the way to help children realise they are not alone.
“I am a member of a Facebook group on LM,” said Lloyd’s mum Oz (short for Auriel) “and one of the mums had heard of the travelling bears.
“I immediately wanted Luke to come and visit Lloyd and he has arrived to us from a little boy in America.” Since his arrival he has had a busy week first joining Lloyd at pre- school in Fittleworth.
“Luke went with his folder and medical bag and the pre-school sat all the children down for a chat about him and explained the medical condition.”
He has also been getting to know Lloyd’s one-year-old sister Ferne.
Lloyd’s condition means he suffers from fluid-filled cysts.
He underwent a major operation at five months old to remove a cyst from his neck and is scheduled to return to Great Ormond Street for treatment to his enlarged tongue. His mother said he would continue to have to undergo operations through his life.
In the meantime Luke is his furry companion until he is called on to jet off to help raise awareness for another child.