Hemel family need help to raise £6,000 to bring their disabled two-year-old home

A family from Hemel Hempstead are asking for the public to help them bring their child back from a hospice.

Friday, 27th May 2022, 2:50 pm

A child from Hemel Hempstead, who was found unresponsive at one month old needs £6,000 to bring him home from a hospice in Italy.

Antonio, who was born in London in 2019, is severely brain-damaged after having an estimated 40 minutes without oxygen.

He was resuscitated at Watford General Hospital and spent weeks in intensive care. The decision was made to turn his ventilator off but his mother, Italian-born Ylenia disagreed and Antonio was flown to Rome and treated in Bambin Gesù hospital.

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Ylenia and Rohan Wray with their son, Antonio.

Ylenia and Rohan Wray’s son underwent a tracheostomy and gastrostomy in October 2019 and is currently being cared for in a hospice run by nuns in Rimini.

His family now want to bring him back to the UK and continue to care for him at home. A total of £18,000 is needed for the air ambulance, £12,000 of which has already been donated.

Another £6,000 is needed by mid-June to bring him home.

Ylenia said: “Antonio is our son and we love him. He reacts to my voice – he opens his eyes when I call – and he can move his hands when asked to. He is still ventilated but his breathing is getting deeper and once he has been stabilised after the journey, we will be able to care for him at home.”

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She added: “We just want our little boy home with us. We have fought so hard for his life – we now just want to regain some sort of peace and normality in our family.’

Lucy Air Ambulance for Children (Lucy AAC) will bring Antonio home to be with his family.

Charlotte Young, CEO at Lucy AAC said: “When we heard Ylenia and Antonio's story we wanted to do all we could to help them. It is so important to Lucy AAC that families are reunited and that long-distance air transfers are available to any child that needs one.”

The family is supported by the children’s charity Tree of Hope.

Gill Gibb, Tree of Hope CEO said: “We are pleased to be supporting the Wrays with their fundraising mission and hope they can get Antonio home soon to be with his family.”

Donations can be made here.