A MOTHER-of-14 is considering travelling to Ukraine to help care for a severely autistic teenager.

Julie Elliot, 61, and her husband Roger, 66, from the Ribble Valley, have 14 children together – four biological and 10 adopted – and hoped to welcome 16-year-old refugee Timothy Tymoshenko into their family.

The couple were asked by a friend if they would consider taking in Timothy, who is currently living in war-torn Kyiv with his mother, Anna.

His mother wishes to remain in the Ukrainian capital after her eldest son was told to stay and fight, while Timothy’s 17-year-old brother, Yuri, has already escaped to Poland alone.

Timothy is severely autistic and non-verbal, and his mother has struggled to guide him into the local subway shelter for safety when the city has been shelled by the Russian army, putting him and those around him in danger.

Mrs Elliot said: “Autistic children can be quite difficult to manage and he’s becoming more and more distressed.

“Timothy can’t talk and he can’t process what’s going on around him, so, unless he is in his familiar routine with all his things around him, everything can be very scary, even without a war.

“It is very difficult to get him to comply, and to get him into the subway can be really traumatic for his mum because he will fight her and run off because he doesn’t understand.

“His mum is trying to cope with a severely autistic child whilst there are bombs dropping around them.”

Their adopted children, who are aged between nine and 40, all have disabilities and eight of them still live at the couple’s home.

Mr and Mrs Elliot worked as nurses before becoming full-time carers to their adopted family, being made MBEs in 2016 for services to children.

With documents proving permission from Timothy’s mother, Mrs Elliot applied for a visa for Timothy through the Homes For Ukraine scheme on March 30 but has received no response confirming or denying the visa and since been separately told he is ineligible because he is under 18.

Mrs Elliot said she is now considering flying to Ukraine to assist his mother in caring for him.

She added: “I am seriously thinking that I’m going to have to go and help her because I can’t leave her.

“I promised her over a month ago that I would help her – how can I just leave her like this?”

When asked about Timothy’s case, a Government spokesman said: “Due to safeguarding requirements, unaccompanied minors are only eligible under the Homes For Ukraine scheme if they are reuniting with a parent or guardian in the UK.”