THE parents of a seriously ill toddler are hoping he will be well enough to make a special guest appearance at a party being held to raise cash for his care.
Scott and Joanna Denton's world was turned upside down when three-year-old son Joshua suffered unexplained seizures which left him unable to walk or talk.
He has been undergoing treatment at Newcastle's Royal Victoria Infirmary (RVI) since September and the couple - who also have an 11-month-old daughter, Mia - have been told he could face another two to three months in hospital before being allowed home full-time.
However, Mr Denton said he hoped Joshua would be well enough to attend a children's party at Barnard Castle Cricket Club on Saturday, December 15, organised by his nursery.
He said the family hoped to take delivery of a special wheelchair and a car fitted with a ramp next week.
"Joshua is undergoing some more treatment which might continue into next week, but we are pretty confident we will be able to take him to the party," said Mr Denton.
It will be the first time Joshua has been able to leave the RVI since he was first admitted.
Mr Denton said he also hopes to take Joshua home to Middleton-in-Teesdale, County Durham, on Christmas Eve to spend Christmas with his family.
When Joshua was first admitted to the RVI both Mr and Mrs Denton stayed by his side.
His mum has since returned to her job at Glaxo in Barnard Castle a few days a week, while Mr Denton has taken leave of absence from his job with a veterinary supply company to remain at his side full time.
As details of Joshua's plight have spread around Teesdale, a huge effort to support the family has swung into action.
Mr Denton said they were extremely grateful for all the help.
"It's all to help Joshua and give him the things he needs to make him more comfortable when he gets home.
"A lot of people have helped anonymously, which means we can't thank them personally, but we would like them to know we are very grateful."
The party, at Barnard Castle Cricket Club, on Saturday, December 15, has been organised by Jodie Dodgson, of the Little Monsters Day Nursery, in Barnard Castle, which both Joshua and Mia attend.
It will take place between 2pm and 4pm and all proceeds will go to help Joshua. There will be a disco, buffet, a visit from Santa, face painting and a raffle with a host of prizes.
For further information, contact Ms Dodgson on 07816-923353.