IT doesn’t seem like a big ask but one mum’s new year wish is simple – she’d like her little boy to be able to sit up.
Little Rio Vicary, who turns two next month, suffers a genetic condition which means he may never walk, cannot talk, and has albinism which has left him blind.
The brave youngster was born with Angelman’s syndrome and needs regular appointments with 12 consultants at Sheffield Children’s Hospital.
He suffers a combination of illnesses so rare his mother Gemma Wright has only found one other person in the world with the same conditions – a six year-old girl in America.
But Rio and his family –mum Gemma, dad Wayne, and brothers Cody, seven and Jadyn, four – are looking forward to 2013 after spending a very happy Christmas together.
It’s been a busy year for Rio and his family from Base Green, Sheffield, and he almost had to spend Christmas in hospital.
Gemma said: “Rio has been very poorly and we didn’t think he’d be able to come out of hospital, but he was allowed home on Christmas Eve. He had an abscess in his airway which was causing problems with his breathing.
“He had a great time on Christmas Day with his brothers. He got lots of noisy toys including maracas and a Spongebob which sings to him – he loves noisy toys.”
In November Gemma and Shane married at St Mark’s Church in Mosborough.
Gemma said: “We weren’t sure if the wedding would go ahead as we were at A&E with Rio the day before. Luckily he was well enough to come along, and a nurse from Ryegate Children’s Centre was with him.”
The couple went on honeymoon to Lanzarote where, Gemma said: “Rio had a special feed that had to be delivered to Lanzarote.
“We had to take his medical notes just in case he had to go to hospital but it all went fine and we had a lovely time.”
Another big step for Rio in 2012 was his breathing tube being removed.
Gemma said: “He will never be able to talk but he can make sounds and we can hear him laughing – that’s a big step forward.”
Just before Christmas an event raised funds for Rio’s treatment, and the family donated half the money – £500 – for presents for youngsters in Sheffield Children’s Hospital.
“I wanted to give something back,” said Gemma.
“The staff there have been so great with Rio and he likes going to hospital now! He spends so much time there he knows everyone.”
Rio and his mum visited M2 ward to deliver the gifts. Gemma said: “It was magical seeing the children’s faces light up.”
Now Gemma is hoping for an even better 2013.
“It would be nice not to have to spend so much time at the hospital, and Rio will be two in February, so we are looking forward to that.
“It would be great if he could sit up unaided this year.”