A FLEETWOOD family have been inundated with goodwill messages after their story was featured on a TV documentary last Tuesday night.
The ITV programme Leah’s Dream captured two and a half years in the life of nine year old Leah Garfitt, who suffers from the rare Niemann Pick Disease Type C, and her mum Lindsey Patterson.
Viewers saw Leah gradually deteriorate from the bubbly girl she was at the start of filming as her illness, which attacks the nervous system and has symptoms including senile dementia, began to take hold.
Sadly, since the camera crew left the family last autumn, Leah’s condition has continued to get still worse and now she needs to take food through a tube and is starting to suffer fits.
The story, and in particular the close relationship Leah has with her mum, touched the hearts of viewers across the country.
The Weekly News has been contacted by people from as far afield as Newcastle, Grimsby and rural Wiltshire who all wanted messages and letters of support forwarded to the family.
In addition to that, Fleetwood firm JJ Mobility of Lord Street offered Leah a brand new, light weight wheelchair.
And there have been numerous messages on social network sites Facebook and Twitter.
Leah’s nan, Diane Hollings, told the Weekly News: “It has been amazing, people have been so kind since the programme was shown, with so many flowers and cards being sent to us.”
One slightly disturbing development was that there have been one or two strange new online sites set up appealing for money.
Diane, of Wansbeck Avenue, said: “Apart from a special dedication site set up by Leah’s dad Michael, these others websites have nothing to do with us and we would advise people not to send any money to them.”
Grimsby man Jim Crewdson contacted the Weekly News and said: “I just want to wish Leah and her mum good luck - they are two angels. God bless Fleetwood.”
Sheila Sherrin, of Corsley, Wiltshire, said: “I was in tears.”