A FAMILY who moved to Newcastle when their baby became ill are preparing to come back to Bolton.

Logan Wilkieson, who is now 10-months-old, was diagnosed with a rare disease which affects his immune system.

Last October, he was admitted to a specialist unit at Newcastle General Hospital and was placed in a "bubble" of clean air because the slightest infection could have been fatal. He had a successful stem-cell transplant and blood transfusion in November. Now his parents, Ruth Lawrie and Gareth Wilkieson, from Horwich, are preparing to come home.

The family is currently living in a halfway house - a residence for patients who do not require complete hospitalisation but who need an intermediate degree of care - but with Logan recovering well from his treatment, they could be allowed to leave in two weeks.

During their time in the North Ruth stayed in temporary accommodation near to the hospital while Gareth has been working in Bolton midweek and travelling to Newcastle at weekends.

Ruth and Gareth have now applied for a council house in Horwich to be near friends and family. But they have been told none is suitable for them and are on a waiting list.

Ruth, aged 20, said: "These last few months have been very difficult for us, having to give up our home to be with Logan in hospital.

"The one thing that kept us going was the thought that we would one day be able to return home to Bolton and be near our friends and family.

"We are upset that it is now looking in doubt."

Logan suffers from severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID) which affects one in 100,000 babies.

A council spokesman said: "We awarded the family priority status on medical grounds last month through the Homes for You service and are monitoring their preferred area to see if a suitable house, preferably near relatives, becomes vacant.

"The family are also looking in a neighbouring council's area where they also have relatives, and we have spoken to that authority on their behalf."