THE FAMILY of a brave Halesowen boy who will lose his leg due to a congenital heart defect have thanked the community for it's "amazing kindness and love."

Becki and Lee Baker - the parents of Josh Baker, 15, have been moved by the outpouring of support from family, friends and strangers.

Raffles and other fundraisers are being staged and a JustGiving page has been set up to help raise £10k towards adaptations needed for their home in Huntingree Road.

More than £3.5k has been raised so far with messages of support flooding in.

Josh with his family

Josh with his family

Windsor High, which Josh and his sisters Chloe, 16 and and Mia, 13, attend, is set to hold a mufti day on Thursday to help towards the appeal.

Josh suffers from a congenital heart defect and musculoskeletal deformities. He has endured multiple open heart surgeries.

The appeal states: "Today at 15 years old Josh is facing what most would consider to be one of their worst fears, the loss of a leg.

"Despite doctors trying all they can this is now the only option and the only way that Josh can have his independence back.

"Josh is without a doubt an inspiration to us all, a real warrior. A happy cheerful lad, always smiling and despite his health is a typical teenage boy.

"Covid has had a massive impact on the family due to shielding, no school for his sisters, little work for the parents due to social distancing and now they have another challenge - adapting the house to support his needs, some of which will be government funded the rest we’re relying on people’s generosity to make their lives more comfortable and to ease the financial burden so they can concentrate on the important thing, family."

Josh, aged 15

Josh, aged 15

Josh's mum Becki Baker, is a teaching assistant at Huntingtree Primary, and his dad Lee, aged 38, is a self-employed landscape gardener, with the family forced to shield to protect Josh.

Becki, aged 41, said: "Our community is pulling together in the most amazing of ways to support us as a family and our son and daughters.

"They are helping raise some money towards adaptations we so badly need to enable him to cope after the operation and in the future to help him overcome this huge hurdle and be independent.

"We want to say a huge thank you to everyone - the pure kindness we have experienced and been shown by not just our amazing friends and families, but also from people who we have never met but who have heard Josh's story and come forward to show us support.

"The messages we have received are just amazing."

Becki, who thanked friend Jenny Clevely for setting up the fundraising page, said Josh's leg stopped developing properly when he suffered a cardiac arrest aged five, which affected the flow of oxygen to his leg.

She said doctors had hoped to perform operations to repair it, but due to delays caused by Covid, this was not possible and an amputation is necessary.

The op is expected to be carried out at Birmingham Children's Hospital by September.

Fundraisers are also in the pipeline by the fire service and £650 has been raised by a raffle held by Cupcake Dayz.

Becki said: "After the year everyone has had with lockdown and Covid it is truly a beautiful thing that we are experiencing, a real ray of light in a bad situation.

"So much kindness and love is truly mind blowing!"