A DALES community has rallied round to offer support to a popular little boy who suffers from cerebral palsy.

Sedbergh’s Zak Hall has a list of conditions which mean he is unable to communicate with his family or control his movement.

He has around 40 fits a day, is registered blind, takes food thorough a tube and is on a cocktail of drugs.

He has been diagnosed with hypoxic ischemic encephalo-pathy (HIE) – brain damage caused by lack of oxygen during birth – and spastic quadriplegic cerebral palsy.

But family, friends and neighbours are determined to build a brighter future for the three-year-old.

“He didn’t cry for four weeks after he was born. By the time he was two months old we knew he had severe brain damage,” said his mother Mags Hall.

In order to make Zak more comfortable Mags and father Gary – who is in the Navy - have a wish list of specialist equipment.

They are saving for a specially designed beanbag, fibre optic lights and an adap-ted pram – but each costs £400.

“You spend your life filling in forms but half the time you don’t qualify for financial help,” said Mrs Hall.

“They don’t take into account that before I gave birth to this lovely, but disabled, child we had a lifestyle that we managed to budget for. Then that lifestyle is out of the window because you have no job. I love every second of it but financially it is a struggle.”

Recently, Zak’s uncle Kevin Kirkby organised a cycle ride from Scarborough to Sand-side with 12 others to raise money and were able to buy Zak a new wheelchair.

“Zak has been adopted by everybody in Sedbergh so we get a lot of support,” said Mrs Hall.

“One woman even dropped a cheque for £200 through the door and that was just because of a conversation we had on a bus. We’re really lucky to live here.”

Thanks to the support, Mrs Hall hopes to improve life for both Zak and his 11-year-old sister Ashleigh.

“Ashleigh has had a lot to deal with over three years,” she said. “Every second of the day is spent with Zak and she gets sidelined. She helps us a lot but it is not what a normal 11-year-old wants to do.”

Zak is medicated to control his seizures but still has dozens of fits a day and is being tested by Sedbergh-based charity Brainchild.

“Any response we can get from it is great,” said Mrs Hall.

“We would just be happy for him to lie on his tummy. It might sound like a small change – but for us it would be huge.”