By Lucy Notarantonio
A six-year-old whose lifelong dream is to try a CUPCAKE for the first time is fundraising £50,000 with his family to ensure his wish comes true.
Jude Carrington has never eaten anything since he was 10 months old due to suffering from severe inflammation of his intestines – known as eosinophilic colitis.
After being tube fed for the past two years and only ever eating liquidised food, Jude has exhausted all possible options to improve his quality of life on the NHS.
But doting mum Jo Carrington, 33, has refused to give up on her son and his dream of eating a cupcake – and she is now fundraising to take him to America to access specialist treatment.
The family need £50,000 to cover the costs at Children’s Hospital Colorado, US, where they will speak to specialists who will carry out several tests on Jude in the hope they can help cure him.
Jo, a childminder from Hoddesdon, Hertfordshire, said: “Jude has never tried a birthday cake, he has never had an ice cream on holiday, he has never enjoyed a Christmas dinner.
“But the main thing he’s desperate to try is a cupcake.
“He has seen his friends eat them as a treat or when celebrating and this is something he is yet to have.
“We have to give him a bottle of frozen water for lunchtime at school just so he can feel involved on the dining experience with his friends.
“He absolutely hates it and gets very upset that he can’t eat like everyone else.
“There have been times when I can’t even eat because I just look at him and see devastation in his eyes and it breaks my heart.
“When we raise enough money to go to America, we hope Jude will fulfil his dream and will try a cupcake.”
In May 2017, Jude was fitted with a feeding tube in his stomach and is now forced to wear backpack to school which slowly releases nutrients.
Jo, a mum-of-one, said: “Jude’s eating problems started when he was four months old, he started rejecting milk and began regularly vomiting and suffering from diarrhoea.
“When he was ten months old, he stopped eating completely resulting him to pass out, we took him straight to Great Ormond Street Hospital for further tests.
“They carried out a colonoscopy and gastroscopy, where they found his colon was inflamed and diagnosed him with eosinophilic colitis.
“The steroids were really strong to help control the pain but he continued to have stomach ache, vomiting and diarrhoea.
“It was like having a newborn with the constant battle of bottle feeding and changing his nappy but for five years!”
The average calorie intake for a five-year-old is 1,200 to 1,400 calories per day but before Jude’s tube in his stomach, he was only drinking 800ml of hypoallergenic formula daily – half the recommended intake.
Jo said: “The UK doctors are hoping he will grow out of it or we’ll find food that will be less painful to manage, but their main priority is to keep him nutritionally well so he can lead a semi-normal life.
“Every time he has tried something such as a rice, potato, chicken he has severe sickness, diarrhoea and eczema, his body reacts to everything like an allergy.
“But he is the most resilient and strong-willed child I have ever met, he is so brave and just loves animals.
“I’ve been a vegetarian for the past year because one day Jude said ‘if I could eat food, I wouldn’t eat meat as I wouldn’t want to eat the animals’ so giving it up was the least I can do.
“I won’t pretend it has ever been easy, there has been days when I have just been crying on my husband, Steven, 35, shoulder, we would do anything to swap places with him.
“I can’t sit back and wait for him to possible grow out of it because what if he doesn’t.
“We have been in contact with a doctor in America who is currently waiting for Jude’s biopsy slides who will then determine what other tests will be carried out.
“We need to go to America to get a second opinion and diagnosis to give our son the life he deserves.”
Jude has been under the care of the same paediatrician since he was a child, Dr. Raina Sanjay, at Princess Alexandra Hospital, Redditch.
He confirmed there were no further options available for Jude in the UK.
Dr.Sanjay said: “Jude has been severely affected by eosinophilic colitis since a baby, it is very challenging and distressing for his family as he is constantly in discomfort.
“In spite of maximum treatment, his symptoms have not been relieved and there is no other option but for Jude to go to America.”
To donate visit: https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/judecarrington