PARENTS of two children who have rare conditions have launched an online funding appeal to pay for a ‘travel pod’ bed to use when they go on their first holidays.

Layla Craven, seven, of Saltaire, was one of only 21 people in the world with 5q14.3 microdeletion syndrome when she was diagnosed aged one. Her symptoms include being non-verbal, she has epilepsy and has to be sedated at bedtime. This makes a standard bed unsafe for her and she is now too big for a travel cot and needs a specialist one – called a travel pod 9 – instead.

Charlie Holmes, five, of Baildon, was diagnosed with Baraitser-Winter Syndrome (BWS) last year, which affects the development of many parts of the body, particularly the face and the brain.

Charlie had a developmental delay due to brain abnormalities, a cyst on his brain, seizures, a hole in his heart, was born with a cleft palate and has been in and out of hospital all his life, due to illness and surgery to correct his airways.

Now Layla’s mother, Sophie Boocock-Craven, has joined forces with Charlie’s mum, Francine Jackson, to raise £2,000, initially for one travel pod to share between the families. Layla’s family are going to Spain next month, while Charlie’s family will travel to France in the summer.

Layla and Charlie are classmates at Chellow Heights Special School (West), Bingley Road, Heaton, and hope to pass the travel pod around their class for their future holidays.

Mrs Boocock-Craven said: “We all have the same problem; our children can’t sleep in a normal bed, so when taking them on holiday we are all stuck.

“The specialist travel bed is to take away with us. The NHS won’t provide one and they are very expensive.

“When we go on holiday it will be somewhere safe for them to sleep in. The travel pod is vital for them.

“Both Charlie and Layla are going away abroad for the first time this year. Making memories with our children is so important. They are both little fighters. They go through so much in their lives and deserve the world.”

Miss Jackson said: “We have been through so much as a family and are already restricted to what we can do and where we can go on holiday.

“This year we are taking Charlie abroad for the first time with his little sister, Olivia.


“Making memories with Charlie is so important to us as a family as every day and year is so precious as we don’t know what the future holds with all his health complications.”

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