TWO courageous teenage boys who went above and beyond to help their critically ill baby relative are raising money for the hospitals that saved his life.
Little Leyton Story from Greenock was left fighting for his life after developing meningitis but against all the odds the 11-month-old pulled through thanks to the nurses and doctors at both the Royal Alexandra Hospital in Paisley and the Royal Hospital for Children in Glasgow.
Throughout his life-threatening illness, Leyton’s big brother Liam, 16, and his cousin Kyle Jordan, 14, were by his bedside day and night.
Leyton’s mum Kirsty Story of Stromness Place, says Liam and Kyle were so brave in the way they reacted to a very distressing situation.
Now she’s overwhelmed by them all over again – after the boys decided to raise money for Glasgow Children’s Hospital by taking part in the 23-mile Kiltwalk.
She said: “Liam and Kyle were at the hospital every single day and every single night.
“They were leaving school and coming straight up. They absolutely dote on Leyton and they were there for him when he needed them.
“Nowadays it’s difficult to drag teenagers away from their computers and phones so I think it’s amazing the way they dropped everything for him.”
Kyle and Liam says the Kiltwalk is the least they can do to say thanks to the nurses and doctors who looked after Leyton.
Liam said: “We were at the hospital every day and night. Kyle and I held it together for my mum. We wanted to stay strong for her and help her through this.”
Liam said it was scary to see his little brother fight for his life.
He added: “I didn’t realise how bad it was.
“I was there when they took him off the ventilator but it started beeping and all of a sudden about 12 doctors rushed in because he’d stopped breathing.”
Kyle – who was there the morning Kirsty found a rash on Leyton – also remained calm through the ordeal.
He said: “I was off school sick and when Kirsty found the rash on Leyton I fed him his bottle so she could do the glass test.”
Both Liam and Kyle, who dote on Leyton, were relieved when he pulled through.
Liam said: “Leyton is amazing, no matter what he is always happy. The minute he woke up in hospital he started playing with his toys. We want to do the Kiltwalk in his honour.”
Kirsty says Liam and Kyle were also a tower of strength to her and her partner Richard Cairns during Leyton’s illness.
She added: “The boys saw how hard Leyton had to fight but they were there supporting us.
“It was hard for them to see Leyton like that but they acted so maturely.
“Even now the boys get emotional when they sit and think about it as it could have been so different. They are an inspiration to us as they were really brave through a really difficult time for us all. I’m so proud of them.”
It was back in September last year when Kirsty and her partner Richard Cairns were put through every parent’s worst nightmare.
Leyton vomited one night and developed a high temperature.
Kirsty decided to give her son paracetamol but he was sick again and developed a rash, so alarm bells started to ring.
She took him to the out of hours service at Greenock Health Centre later that night where a doctor checked him and told Kirsty it appeared to be a viral infection. After another visit to the doctor the following day it was decided Leyton should go to hospital.
Kirsty added: “Leyton was taken for a test at 11.30am that morning and by 11.45am he was fighting for his life.
“The doctors worked so quickly that he had started crying and kicking and they pumped him with antibiotics and adrenalin.”
But Leyton still had to be put into an induced coma before being transferred to the critical care unit at the Royal Hospital for Children in Glasgow – and worse was to come for the family.
Richard, who is a former army medic, said: “He stopped breathing when they took him off the ventilator. But he’s a soldier, and he never stopped fighting and the staff helped him the whole way through.”
Kirsty added: “The doctors and nurses were amazing.”
Now as a tribute to all the doctors and nurses who saved Leyton’s life, Liam, who is an apprentice hairdresser at Del.Co in Greenock and Kyle, a pupil at Inverclyde Academy, are joining their family for the Kiltwalk in aid of Glasgow Children’s Hospital Charity.
Kirsty said: “The idea actually came from our local bus driver who asked if he could do the Kiltwalk for the hospital that Leyton was in.
“The boys then said they wanted to do it and so now the whole family are taking part.”
Kirsty has also nominated Liam, Kyle and little Leyton for the Greenock Telegraph’s new Community Champion Awards.
Visit https://newsquestscotlandevents.com/events/greenockcommchamp/ to nominate your Community Champion