THOUSANDS of well-wishers have rallied around a two-year-old cancer sufferer after his condition deteriorated.
Little Bradley Lowery, who has touched the hearts of thousands of people across Hartlepool and East Durham, is in intensive care after taking a turn for the worse.
Overnight, more than 6,000 people “liked” the Bradley Lowery’s Fight Against Neuroblastoma Facebook page, taking its total to more than 15,000 likes, after his mum Gemma asked for people to pray for him.
The Blackhall youngster, battling rare childhood cancer neuroblastoma, has been receiving high-dose chemotherapy at Newcastle’s Royal Victoria Infirmary since last month.
But on Thursday he was transferred to intensive care after his breathing deteriorated, and medics suspect he may have pneumonia.
Distraught Gemma, 30, has been keeping supporters updated on Bradley’s condition via Facebook and twitter.
Last weekend Bradley failed to improve after his liver enlarged and affected his major organs, causing breathing problems.
Gemma, married to self-employed builder Carl, also 30, wrote on Facebook last weekend that Bradley was improving slowly but still suffering breathing trouble.
On Monday, Gemma posted a message saying Bradley was better within himself but continued to be blighted by breathing problems.
He had been given chest X-Rays, which showed there was something on his lungs, that baffled consultants, and further tests were planned.
After a heart and CT scan, doctors suspected Bradley may have a fungal infection.
The youngster was taken into theatre to get a camera and a suction tube put into his lungs so they could get a sample.
But on Wednesday, Gemma, also mum to 11-year-old Kieran, wrote: “Bradley has been down to theatre but unfortunately he is not breathing as well as they would like so he has been transferred to intensive care unit.
She continued: “We have not been allowed to see him yet so as you can imagine we are very anxious, lots of prayers needed.”
On Thursday, she wrote that Bradley had taken a turn for the worst, having been bleeding from his lungs, which blocked the tube that was helping him breath and machines were now breathing for him.
Gemma wrote: “The doctors have told us he is critical and he is not stable so please please please use every thought and prayer in your head to help my little superstar pull through.”
She added: “Doctors and nurses are doing everything in their power to keep Bradley alive but only time will tell.”
Yesterday morning, Gemma said little battler Bradley had a better night than doctors expected and was stabilised.
But she added: “He is still critical and can go downhill at any time. They are keeping all the machines doing the hard work and we just have to sit and wait.
“Bradley is sedated and paralysed with medication but still managed to wiggle his toe and squeeze my hand when I told him a Peppa Pig story.
“Our little fighter just letting us know he is not giving up. Thank you for all your prayers, they have worked so far fingers crossed he continues to improve.”
Middleton Grange Shopping Centre manager Mark Rycraft, who is running a Bradley publicity campaign, said the number of Bradley’s Facebook page “likes” had “catapulted” overnight on Thursday from 9,200 to more than 15,000.
He added that the logo for Bradley’s appeal – a red shape signifying a heart and his favourite things, balloons, an ice cream cone – had “gone viral” with scores of people replacing their Facebook profile pictures with the logo.