The lesbian couple of a two year old boy from Leeds, who has
severe health problems, have made a desperate plea for help in
order to improve their son's life.
Born in June 2009, Lyall Cookward was diagnosed with having Downs
Syndrome and a serious heart condition. It was only at the age of
18 months and after many painful operations, that Lyall was finally
allowed to go home to live with his Mums.
However, Lyall has to permanently use a ventilator in order to
stay alive and requires constant care.
Due to the nature of Lyall's illness, he has a huge amount of
specialist equipment in his home and as a result of having a
bespoke hospital bed; the only room in Lyall's house big enough to
fit it is the living-room. Lyall's parent Steph Ward and Sharon
Cook need to raise a massive £13,000 for Lyall and have started
a campaign entitled Build A Wall For Lyall in which they are
asking people to donate just £1, or whatever they can afford, to
fund the building of a ground floor bedroom and bathroom that Lyall
Speaking to us, Ward said: "Lyall has to live and sleep in the
living room at the moment, he has no space of his own due to all of
his equipment and it is essential for his health that he has a
quiet space in which he can sleep and be looked after in
"He is visited by a large number of health professionals often on
a daily basis and we need to ensure that we can give Lyall the best
life possible. We would like to ask everyone to buy a brick for
Lyall if they can, it will make an unbelievable difference to his
On hearing about Lyall's plight, the Bridge LGBT Bar in Leeds have
pledged to hold a fundraising evening for Lyall on 26 February. The
night will include performances from local entertainers and hopes
to raise a substantial amount of money.
Owner of The Bridge, Lance Jessop, said: "An LGBT community is not
just about people who go out drinking in bars, it is about everyone
in our city and beyond and it is our duty to be able to support
those who need it. I hope we raise thousands for Lyall and his
Lyall's cause also highlights the need for the Children's Heart
Hospital in Leeds which is under threat of closure. Pudsey MP
Stuart Andrew said: "The Children's Heart Hospital undoubtedly
saved Lyall's life along with the lives of countless others. But
individual cases such as Lyall's highlight that it is people and
families that need to be considered when making decisions about
cutbacks and not just number crunching."
You can donate via internet banking: Halifax, Sort Code 11-12-50,
Account Number 10074860 or send a cheque/cash to 8 Gledhow Park
View, Leeds, LS7 4JS.
Otherwise, visit the Facebook group Build a Wall for Lyall.