Heartbroken mum 'can't give son a cuddle’ due to his constant pain

Joshua and mum Lisa on holiday before his CRPS diagnosis.
Joshua and mum Lisa on holiday before his CRPS diagnosis. -Credit:Family Handout

Heartbroken parents have described how their son is in so much pain they cannot 'hug him' . They are desperate relieve the pain suffered by Joshua Cleaver.

They have been unable to give him a 'cuddle' since the 14-year-old was diagnosed with Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) four years ago after a fall in his school playground. It has left the teen in constant pain, some days he even says it is too much for him to handle.

Now his parents are desperately trying to raise enough money for him to have vital treatment overseas. According to the NHS, CRPS is a ‘poorly understood condition where a person experiences persistent severe and debilitating pain.

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There is no known cure, but there are treatments available including at the Spero Clinic in Arkansas, but this comes at a cost of £75,000. So, Joshua’s family and friends have rallied around him to raise money for the treatment.

It could change his life as, on the family’s fundraising page, Joshua describes the daily agony he suffers. Talking about his CRPS diagnosis, he wrote: "It was pain like no other I had felt before; it was a searing red-hot pain, right down my spine and all over my back. I just screamed and could not stop. It was agonising.

“We rushed to the hospital to see what was wrong. Four and a half years later I really struggle to do anything. The pain is just too much for me to handle - I get very little sleep, and all my life is consumed by pain. Some days I cannot do anything, I mean anything. I feel like I am missing out on growing up.”

Joshua and mum Lisa on holiday before his CRPS diagnosis.
Joshua and mum Lisa on holiday before his CRPS diagnosis. -Credit:Family Handout

Mum Lisa added: “If I was to touch Joshua’s hand, that would be enough to make him cry out in pain. The pain varies from day to day, but we haven’t been able to give him a cuddle in four and a half years.

“The treatment available in the UK focuses primarily on pain management, rather than curing the condition itself. The Spero Clinic is the only place in the world offering this kind of treatment - people travel from across the world to get there.

“The pain is only getting worse, Joshua lives in agony every day - he can’t carry on like this. Going to the Spero Clinic could change his life forever.”

To help get to the huge total, a number of fund-raisers have been organised with his father will be going down the fastest zipline in the world in Wales, as well as abseiling the 100-metre-tall Spinnaker Tower in Portsmouth.

Joshua, 14, lives with a condition named CRPS.
Joshua, 14, lives with a condition named CRPS. -Credit:Family Handout

Family friend and Lisa’s former colleague, Lee Skinner, will also be taking on the Scottish Three Peaks to help fund Joshua’s treatment. "When it became clear there was this possibility of treatment," he said. “I really wanted to step up and help however I could.

“Me and my son are taking on the Three Peaks Challenge to help raise some money for Joshua’s treatment. Lisa was a great employee, and she’s an outstanding mum to Joshua. We want Josh to be able to walk, run and do things we all take for granted.”

The family’s local church has also donated £10,000 to his care. To make a donation to the family’s fundraiser, click here .

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