Little Lucas heads home after incredible recovery

Christie Cooper, 7News Melbourne

Little Lucas heads home after incredible recovery

A one-year-old has had an incredible recovery after spending almost all of his life paralysed by an extremely rare illness.

After 10 months Lucas Whitelegg has finally recovered and is allowed to leave the Monash Children’s Hospital to experience life as a child for the first time.

To look at him now, it is hard to believe that little Lucas Whitelegg has spent most of his life motionless.

Lucas contracted the rare botulism illness when he was just a few weeks old.

He was flown from Mildura to the Monash Children's Hospital where he lay paralysed for six months.

He was fully alert, but a prisoner of his own body.

"There were times that I would sing to him and his heart rate would increase but there was no response from his physical being," his mother Bree Bailey said.

The botulism toxin is the same substance used for botox.

"Botox paralyses muscles, it blocks the signal from the nerve to the muscle," neurologist Dr Lindsay Smith said.

With intensive therapy and a $100,000 antitoxin from the US, he gradually started showing signs of movement.

"Lucas opened his eyes around the four week mark, so that was a huge milestone for us," mother Bree said.

Today is an even bigger milestone, with Lucas well enough to go home. But it's a bitter sweet moment for the nurses who've helped to raised him.

"He became part of the family and I think it's going to be really sad to see them go," ICU nurse Adrienne Wilson said.

With home being almost 600 kilometres away in Mildura, Lucas will spend the first week of his new week in Melbourne so he can be close to the Monash Children's Hospital - just to be safe.

"Very excited to get home and just cherish the small things, like putting him to bed in his own nursery, and taking him to the park," mum said.

His doctor expects him to be fully recovered in time for kindergarten.