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Boy wearing a cap sitting in his garden.
Leon, who usually visits Little Bridge House, has been shielding at home with mum, Dawn.
The family have been in lockdown at home since the start of the pandemic.

Although Leon has been busy studying for his GCSEs, mum, Dawn, explains how they are both missing socialising with family and friends.

“Leon turned 15 years old at the end of January. He has Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy with respiratory and cardiac involvement, which is normal for his age and condition. We stay at Little Bridge House in Barnstaple, North Devon.   

We have been isolated since Thursday 27 February when the first cases broke down here in Torbay. Leon is a pupil at a local secondary school, and I am staff there. Leon has been really busy studying for his GCSE exams due to start in September this year. It looks like I will have to take him through these, but he is doing amazingly well. He gets down sometimes as he is not able to spend time with his family, so we meet up on Facetime for family quiz and games. We have online monopoly booked with each household representing a piece on the board. He really enjoys this contact.

As we are isolated, it is proving difficult to obtain shopping regularly and difficult to obtain the items you need, with many often missing when you can get a delivery. 

I have been purchasing medical gloves and have ordered supplies mainly from Amazon, however, today, Torbay Carers arranged delivery of full PPE which means at least one of Leon’s carers can now return to assist with his care. Thankfully both of his carers have tested negative for COVID-19 and are good to work, but we have decided to use just one for now to minimise the risks to Leon. His carers have both been very careful and spend most of the time isolated at home unless collecting prescriptions or such for Leon. 

As a parent, as a person, I have found this very difficult. The impact on myself has and is very stressful. I cannot just bring things into the home as I used to. I have to sanitise and clean everything down and dispose of unnecessary packaging at the doorstep. 

I miss my grandchildren and other family and whilst we cannot wait for this time to end, we are grateful that we are safe and know we have no choice.

We have come to terms with knowing we will not be able to return to the wider world until there is a vaccine. 

However, all that said, I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else other than home with Leon at times like this.