Putney family fundraising for life-changing treatment for three-year-old son

The family of a three-year-old boy from Putney are appealing for help to raise funds for life-changing stem cell treatment in Thailand.

Despite being born without any issues, Tiago Possetto suffered a hypoxic brain injury at eight-weeks-old which left him with a 1% chance of survival.

After spending a total of 10 months in hospital, Tiago survived, though requires stem cell treatment not provided on the NHS to improve his quality of life.

Tiago has cerebral palsy, a condition which leaves him unable to perform daily activities such as being able to walk or sit unsupported.

As well as being immobile, Tiago is visually impaired and unable to swallow, so must eat through a feeding tube in his stomach.

Silvia Possetto, Tiago’s mother, said: “It would be a dream come true for Tiago to have this treatment. It will change his life. As parents, we never lose hope that our son will soon be able to walk, talk and eat.

“Because Tiago is non-verbal, he cannot tell you if he is in pain or uncomfortable. It’s so difficult because he doesn’t have much facial expression. This is improving with time and we’ve got to know him over the three years. For us it’s easier to understand his needs.”

HELLO!: Tiago enjoying the sunshine in the park

The Putney family are raising money for Tiago’s life-changing treatment at the Beike Biotech Better Being Hospital in Bangkok and Silvia has already visited the hospital to meet the paediatricians.  

Tiago will be given eight injections, most of them lumbar, of stem cell and will also receive oxygen therapy, physiotherapy, acupuncture and speech and language therapy.

Silvia said: “I was shocked at how quickly Tiago’s life could change. They told me there will be improvements in his sight and swallowing in the time we are there which is less than one month.

“Many people spend 10,000 dollars, fly to Panama, receive three shots of stem cell and its the parents’ responsibility to ensure the child receives therapy. For Tiago to have all the treatment in one place is just amazing.”

After visiting Thailand, Silvia started a JustGiving page and has raised £17,000 of the requisite £40,000 for the 23-day stem cell treatment.

Silvia said: “It’s taken a year to raise this money. The support has been amazing, but I am very conscious we are not even halfway.

“The treatment is life-changing for my son. The earlier we can do it the better because his brain is still developing. The doctors said it’s better to do it by the age of three so we are losing time.”

The family have recently teamed up with the Bradley Lowery Foundation, a charity that fundraises for treatment not available on the NHS, to help raise awareness about Tiago’s condition.  

Silvia said: “I managed to raise money through my direct cycle but as you can imagine when you try to expand your network, people don’t believe you.

“When I apply for help from any big charity Tiago doesn’t get help because I work. They only look at your earnings, not your expenses. It’s extremely sad.

“The Bradley Lowery Foundation is completely different. They understand me and could not be more supportive. When I saw Bradley’s story and watched his mum on the television, I really thought, wow. I admire her.”

GIVING GENEROUSLY: Tiago pictured with money boxes gifted by the Bradley Lowery Foundation

The three-year-old features on the Bradley Lowery Foundation website to help with donations and the charity are also organising a football match in June to fundraise for Tiago.

Silvia has also raised money herself, organising competitions and cake sales to edge closer to the £40,000 target which would change Tiago’s life.

She added: “I try to raise as much money as I can. If you look at my Tiago Facebook page, I do raffles, biscuits and cake sales, a friend of mine is also organising a candle making zoom session.

“My boss is running a marathon in May and he has already raised £800 for Tiago. We are desperate to reach this target.”   

For more information and to donate to Tiago’s cause, click here.

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