The mum of a two-year-old boy battling a rare life-threatening illness, is to walk the Great Wall of China to raise money in his name.

Jessica Oakes wants to complete the five-day feat to honour the doctors who have helped keep son Aydan alive.

And she will be dressing up as kids’ favourite character Peppa Pig in Nantwich and Crewe town centres to help raise the £3,000 she needs to sponsor her walk.

Aydan was diagnosed with Tuberous Sclerosis and West Syndrome at 10 months old, and has large tumors in his brain.

At 18 months old he suffered an hour-long seizure which led to a respiratory arrest. His heart stopped and both his lungs collapsed.

Jessica Oakes with son Aydan“We were told that he wouldn’t survive the journey to Alder Hey,” recalls Jessica, from Crewe.

Aydan was put on a special machine called an ECMO, which worked as a lung bypass, and he was on this for more than five weeks.

“Although this machine saved his life, it also caused a stroke and some brain damage,” Jessica added.

“Aydan was on ICU for 11 weeks. During this time he had several operations, including an emergency operation on Christmas Day after losing five litres of blood, caused by an operation he had on Christmas Eve to try and save his lung.

“He was in hospital for five months in all, and is still recovering over a year later.

“This event has left him with the mind of a six-month-old.

“He cannot walk but can cruise the furniture, and has recently started saying a few words including mum!

“The surgeons and doctors weren’t able to save both of his lungs so he ended up losing the bottom of his left lung, and sometimes requires oxygen.

“We have to live each day as it comes as we never know what is around the corner, and when he might have another seizure.

“The tumours in his brain could grow larger and turn cancerous, or another infection could cause him to have multiple organ failure.

Aydan Oakes in hospital“Despite all this Aydan is one of the happiest little boys you will ever meet, and has such a love of life, and an infectious giggle!

“Everyone who meets him falls in love with him, and he is determined to walk again.

“As a thank you to Alder Hey for saving his life I am trying to raise as much money as I can for them.”

Jessica will be Peppa Pig and collecting money in Crewe town centre on Saturday March 8, and again in Nantwich town centre on Saturday April 5.

She hopes to complete her walk along the Great Wall of China in September this year.

If it wasn’t for the dedicated staff at Leighton Hospital, NWTS, and Alder Hey, Aydan certainly wouldn’t be here today,” she added.

“There is no way I will be able to thank them all enough.”

To help Jessica, you can sponsor her at

The money raised from the challenge will go to Alder Hey children’s hospital where Aydan was treated.

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