‘It feels like we’re a proper family again’

Tamsyn Gregory with Zayne Wheeler and Matthew Wheeler
Tamsyn Gregory with Zayne Wheeler and Matthew Wheeler

BRAVE little Zayne Wheeler has come through a series of major operations – supported all the way by loving family and friends.

“It is absolutely amazing to have him home for Christmas. It is going to be the best ever,” said mum Tamsyn.

Sixteen-month-old Zayne fought through a series of major operations, defied all medical expectations and is now at the family home in Deep Lane, Clifton.

It was a day his parents never thought would come but thanks to friends and family who have supported them, Zayne was allowed home on Monday.

When Zayne was born on August 6 he was diagnosed with transposition of great arteries (a heart defect), ventricular septal defect (a hole in the heart) and narrowing of the aorta.

He has had to undergo two serious heart ops, has had a tracheotomy fitted, has vocal cord palsy and celebral palsy, to what extent is still unknown.

“It feels like we are a proper family again,” said dad Matthew. “I have missed waking up and him being here. To have all three children, Danyal, Tobias and Zayne here for breakfast and not have to worry about dashing into hospital is amazing. It feels so surreal to say he is home.”

Both Danyal and Tobias only had two Christmas wishes, the first to have Zayne home for Christmas and the second lots of chocolate.

“It will definitely be a Christmas to remember. The boys are really excited they have got one of their Christmas wishes,” said Tamsyn.

“We intend to stay at home on Christmas Day just the five of us and on Boxing Day we do have family and friends coming round for drinks.”

It was thanks to fund-raising at Cliffe Hill Community Primary School, Lightcliffe, that Zayne was allowed to come home. The school, where Danyal and Tobias, attend, helped to raise more than £600 that paid for a specially adapted cot which will cater for Zayne’s needs.

And the fund-raising efforts haven’t stopped there. Staff at the Richard Oastler have been raising money by selling tickets to win hampers, held a pyjama day, and a cake stall to raise in excess of £550.

Manager Amanda McKenzie, said: “The community and customers have been fantastic. Everybody has just got behind it and thrown money on the buckets. One customer even donated the items for the hamper.”

The family has also had baby monitor donated by an Elland businessman.

Parents at Cliffe Hill also felt they hadn’t done enough for the family and organised a fund-raising event at Bailiff Bridge Community Centre.

Sandra Oliver and Sophie Threadgold decided to approach Brighouse businesses and were surprised by the generosity of people. “A lot of people do have their own charity but it was nice to know that people will still help. We just wanted to do something to help to take a bit of pressure off during Christmas,” said Sandra.

So far they have raised £300.

Zayne’s parents are now aiming to get him on to solid food so they can remove the gastro band and are keen to get him to sit up on his own so he can have some independence.

“We are just looking forward to being a mum and dad,” said Matthew.

Anyone who would like to contact the family can do so via mxw1212@gmail.com

Sandra and Sophie would like to thank Bailiff Bridge Community Centre who donated the room for free and the following businesses: Owls wine shop, Retreat Beauty Lounge, Sun Inn, Just Books, Renny Taylors, Bridges Fitness Centre, Harrison Lord Photography, Websters, Misdress Boutique, La Mode Boutique, Tesco, The George Hotel, Woodworks Country Furniture and Harvey’s department store in Halifax which donated £50 in vouchers and six makeover vouchers.