Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Family Unite to Help Little Josh

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Family Unite to Help Little Josh

Article excerpt

Byline: By Helen Sturdy

When Joshua Peacock was born, little did his parents realise what the future held in store.

As the two young boys tear around the kitchen, their mum scoops up their younger brother gently in her arms.

With speed and accuracy, the pair race around in a whirlwind of boundless energy, narrowly missing objects positioned around the room.

With a warning word to the duo, their mum Vicky Cook looks down, knowing her youngest son, smiling from the comfort of her arms, may never experience the same burst of liveliness.

Because two-year-old Joshua Peacock suffers from microcephaly, a rare condition which means his head is abnormally small, and could lead to learning difficulties.

"Nobody knows what he is going to do," explains 36-year-old Vicky.

"We just push him and stimulate him all the time and try to get him to reach as full a potential as he can."

Joshua was born a healthy and happy baby but problems began when he was just three weeks old.

He began suffering from a severe form of bronchiolitis which led to both his lungs collapsing and he was rushed to the former South Cleveland Hospital.

Joshua's terrified mum, along with dad Joe Peacock, 35, spent ten days at his bedside when all his organs began to shut down.

"They came to us and said they thought we should have him baptised because he might not make it," says Vicky.

"I can't remember much about that day because of them saying he might die.

"Those ten days were vital, he was either going to get completely better or die but we did not realise at that time how poorly he was."

Throughout Joshua's long recovery, his parents, along with their other children Thomas, six, and three-year-old Owen prayed for their loved one to pull through.

And although the youngster was eventually taken home, the Northallerton family then faced taking Joshua for a series of check-ups to monitor his condition.

It was on one of the visits to the specialist at Northallerton's Friarage Hospital around two months after Joshua's birth that Vicky decided to voice her concerns.

"We had noticed he was not interacting with us like a normal baby," she says. …

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