A struggling family has taken desperate measures in a bid to extend their home to help care for their children who suffer from debilitating conditions.
Leann and Andrew Cruse live in a three-bedroom home in Denny with their five children – two of whom suffer from serious health problems.
Little Cole (3) has brain abnormalities, a hip deformity, global development delay, epilepsy and asthma. Big brother Lewis (14) has autism and dyspraxia which affects his balance and co-ordination.
Cole suffers from seizures, is unable to crawl and requires a wheelchair. He can’t talk and is hospitalised regularly with life-threatening seizures and due to the physical effects of the boys’ conditions the family needs extra space.
It would cost the family £40,000 to build an extension for this, money they just don’t have. Andrew (36) still works as a crane engineer, but Leann (34) had to give up her job in recruitment to care for Cole.
Over the past couple of years they have searched for solutions including moving into a larger council house. Leann also even considered moving to Peterhead through another housing association as it was the only house she found that met their needs.
In a desperate move, the couple have now resorted to asking the public for help and set up a crowdfunding campaign to help them raise the money they need.
Leann said: “We know this is a massive ask, but we really are out of options. Our living conditions are simply just not suitable for our family and we just want the best for all of our children.”
Crowdfunding for this type of cause is becoming more common and the family has received advice from couples who have gone down this route.
Falkirk Council has tried to find the family a bigger home. A spokesman said: “We have been advising the family of the options and also have signposted them to other housing providers who may be able to help. We are aware of the shortage of larger properties locally and as part of our new build program, have built 43 four bedroom properties with half of these advertised for applicants who require a bedroom and bathroom on the ground floor.”
The family has a Facebook page, The Helping Little Cole Fund and crowdfunding page Little Cole’s Fund on gofundme.com.