Pixie Lott and Oliver Cheshire give amputee, aged 3, a helping hand to raise 1.5m towards his new legs
16:14 GMT, 13 April 2012
Lott and Oliver Cheshire are among those helping to raise money for a three-year-old who lost both legs after being blighted by a life-threatening disease.
Little Luca Williams was struck down by meningococcal septicaemia, a type of
blood poisoning, four months ago and medics were forced to amputate his lower limbs.
Now in a bid to raise the 1.5million needed to see their son walk again, his parents have created a fund-raising initiative which is steadily being backed by a number of famous faces.
Pixie Lott and Oliver Cheshire show their support for Luca Williams who lost both legs at the age of three
Launched at the beginning of March, the 'Raise your Hands for Luca' campaign asks people to write 'For Luca' on the palm of their hand and upload the picture to Facebook or Twitter.
To date his Facebook page alone has attracted more than 10,000
followers and celebrities
including Wales rugby players Ryan Jones, Leigh Halfpenny, F1 drivers
Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel and England cricketer Stuart Broad have also posted images.
Luca's father, Mo Syed, from Newport in South Wales, said: ‘It is amazing to be getting this kind of support. We soon realised that
Luca's story had touched the hearts of thousands, including people as
far as America, Australia and New Zealand. Even celebrities have started
sending pictures to support Luca in his daily battles.'
Luca Williams was struck down by meningococcal septicaemia, a type of blood poisoning four months ago
‘We only hope he can maintain this
positive attitude as he copes with this terrible
disease,’ says father Mo
One supporter almost put his job on the line this week as he tried to get a shot of president
Barack Obama while he held his hand
up scrawled with the words 'For Luca'.
Dai Baker, 39, an award-winning cameraman, who works for Channel 4 News, has lived in Washington for eight years, was told about the initiative by his brother, who is a friend of Luca’s parents.
Baker was invited to the Oval Office on Wednesday to have his photo
taken with the president after winning a number of first places for his images.
But as he took the cheeky pictures, security guards were quick to issue a warning. He said: 'You’re not supposed to take your phone in, so they told me off and I nearly got thrown out of the office.'
Luca showed no sign of being unwell
when his parents put him to bed one evening but, when they checked on
him during the night, they found he had developed a rash and his entire body had turned purple.
Dai Baker with President Obama before nearly getting thrown out of the White House
'You’re not supposed to take your phone in, so they told me off ,' says cameraman Dai Baker
England Cricketer Stuart Broad raises his hand for Luca
They rushed him to hospital where doctors diagnosed him with meningococcal septicaemia, and he was given a number of
treatments to replace lost fluids and blood.
The youngster slowly started
to show signs of improvement, but the disease had ravaged his body,
leaving him black from his hips to his toes.
Doctors took the decision to operate to remove his lower legs taking away all of the tissue and skin below his hips.
His parents Mo Syed and Sian Williams, now hope to buy Luca special prosthetic legs which are not available on the NHS.
Mr Syed added: ‘Luca is an inspiration to us every day. The courage he has shown has kept us positive and made us proud. We only hope he can maintain this
positive attitude as he copes with the awful effects of this terrible
Luca has returned to hospital recently, after developing problems with his stomach he also suffered skin, tissue and muscle loss across his arms and
shoulders as a result of the disease.
Luca also suffered skin, tissue and muscle loss across his arms and shoulders
To donate, visit justgiving.com/forluca or text ‘LUCA80 5 or 10’ to 70070 and for more information visit facebook.com/forluca1 or follow @for_luca