Family-of-five appeal for help getting own home and equipment for terminally ill baby

Croydon Guardian: Mum Kayleigh with baby Leo Mum Kayleigh with baby Leo

A family-of-five, all living in the same bedroom, are appealing for help to get their own home and equipment to help them care for their terminally ill baby.

Five-month-old Leo McLaughlin-Taylor has been diagnosed with Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) which causes his muscles to waste away.

Croydon Guardian:

Baby Leo

Little Leo has Type 1 SMA, the most severe form, with 95 per cent of children expected to live less than 18 months. 

They are often described as ‘floppy’ babies as the weakness causes problems with their movement, swallowing and breathing, however, their brain is unaffected.

His family moved out of their rented home in Croydon two weeks ago after warnings from doctors that the damp was bad for Leo's health.

He suffers frequent problems including a collapsed lung, on Tuesday, while he was in Great Ormond Street Hospital.

Now Leo and his mum Kayleigh McLaughlin, 21, dad Darren Taylor, 23, brother Ashley, 4, and sister Ella, 2, are all living in one bedroom in his grandma’s house in the Roundshaw Estate in Wallington.

Croydon Guardian:

Dad Darren and mum Kayleigh

His great aunt, Sue Willmott, 53, a retired nurse, from East Sussex, has issued an appeal on their behalf to try and raise £3,000 so they can put a deposit down on a house to rent and to fund specialist equipment Leo will need to be treated at home.

She said: "His prognosis is he won’t live past the age of two. At the moment his lung has collapsed and he has a feeding tube. He has got a suction machine to suck mucus from his lungs.

"Unfortunately because of the housing situation they could wait ten years and he won’t be there then.

"They need more space so he can have the equipment there and he won’t need to spend so much time in hospital."

The family are setting up an account for any donations.

Could you help little Leo? Email Sue at, call the newsdesk on 0208 722 6358, or email


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