Prayers, love and support grow for two Whittlesey families whose children are on the same ward in Peterborough City Hospital

George Hadman kisses his big sister Effie. He just wants her to wake up.

George Hadman kisses his big sister Effie. He just wants her to wake up. - Credit: Archant

The Whittlesey community are rallying together in a show of strength for two families whose children suffer rare health conditions and are seriously ill in Peterborough City Hospital.

James Overland

James Overland - Credit: Archant

Effie Hadman, six, who has Batten’s Disease, is under sedation where medics are trying to keep her seizures under control.

Baby James Overland, who has Menkes, is under observation as he is being constantly sick and needs a stomach peg to help him feed.

The life expectancy of children with Battens is six to 12 years old while for Menkes it is just three.

Messages of love and support have been pouring in to the Whittlesey and District Community Facebook page for the youngsters and their families.

Whittlesey charity football match

Whittlesey charity football match - Credit: Archant


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Effie’s mum Carly said: “Her little brother is missing her terribly and just wants her to wake up.

“Thank you all so much for keeping Effie in your thoughts and prayers. Her poor little body must be exhausted from the continuous jerking.

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“We are out of options for new medications to try. The only drug that stops the movements leaves Effie unconscious for hours on end.

“We’re working with Effie’s amazing doctors and nurses to find the right balance, to keep her as comfortable as we can.

“It is truly devastating to see our princess having such a hard time and being completely unable to help her.

“A disease we’d never heard of only a few years ago, is trying it’s hardest to take our little girl away from us and there is nothing we can do to stop it.”

When Effie was diagnosed the Hadman’s were determined to raise money for research and awareness of the rare disorder.

Last year they enjoyed a trip to Disneyland Florida when they were among 25 families selected to enjoy a Caudwell Children Destination Dreams trip.

With them were 12 doctors and more than 40 volunteers.

On their Just Giving page Paul said: “Our son was born just before Effie was diagnosed. George is two now, we are trying to create as many memories for him with Effie, in the hope that he will always remember his big sister.”

In the same ward with Effie is James, who, in his short life, has been in hospitals at Peterborough, Addenbrooke’s, Guy’s and Evelina Children’s Hospitals in London for treatment.

His mum Emma Louise Minett, of Whittlesey, learnt early on that the condition meant he would not grow properly and he would suffer a deterioration of his nervous system.

Former Posh stars are teaming up for a football match to raise money for him next month.

Expect to see sporting names including Jack Collison, Andy Furnell, Marcus Ebdon, Garry Butterworth, Lee Howarth, Matthew Gill, Gareth Jellyman and Ryan Semple.

Also Micky Nuttell, Julian Joachim, Darren Huckerby, ex Sunderland captain Micky Gray and local boxer Marcello Renda.

• The charity match day is on Sunday September 4 at Whittlesey Athletics ground. Kick off 10.30am. Tickets £2 under 16s free.

• The Hadman’s fund raising page for Caudwell Children is at Just Giving.

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