A TEN-year-old boy is desperately fighting to get his childhood back after being diagnosed with ‘the most painful disease on earth’.

Before November, 2021, Dillon Wilford, from Sharples, was a ‘happy, healthy, and normal 10-year-old’.

That was until he woke up with a limp, and agonising pain in his leg.

Now the family is hoping to raise £100,000 to send Dillon to America for specialist treatment.

Dillon’s father died when he was six months old, leaving mum Melanie Wilford to bring him up .

His sister Maddison Cresswell, aged 24, is also helping look after Dillon.

They both take it in in shifts to be there for him, as well as looking after his other two brothers.

Maddison added: “Initially we thought he was having growing pains, and we were just guessing.

“But the day after he said his leg was hurting, he couldn’t walk.”

Dillon went to Bolton’s A&E three times, and consultants were puzzled by his condition, and couldn’t pick anything up on scans.

The Bolton News: Dillon trying to be strong in hospitalDillon trying to be strong in hospital

It wasn’t until three months later in February this year, when Dillon was diagnosed with CRPS (Complex regional pain syndrome), dubbed the “suicide disease”.

The disease is known as this because those diagnosed with this are identified as being at risk of suicide due to the severity of the pain experienced.

Maddison said: “They thought it was a torn ligament at one point.

“One doctor even said that he might need his leg amputated because they were worried about blood flow, and the lack of movement.

“And he just wasn’t getting the right help because no one knew what it was. 

“It feels like Dillon’s bones are on fire and being crushed simultaneously 24/7.

“This is something that adults find unbearable, never mind a 10-year-old.

“In the beginning doctors said when they see him in two weeks, they want him to walk across the room by then.

“We were all in shock because he couldn’t even reach the floor.”


The condition is associated with the imbalance and malfunction of the autonomic nervous system.

It means that Dillon can’t even stand wind or rain on his leg without the most “horrific attacks of pain”, causing hours of high-pitched screaming.

Maddison said: “We were really relieved when we got a diagnosis.

“But it was the beginning of a long struggle and hard work for us.

“Me and my mum were going in as the experts because no one knew what it was.

“He’s in Year Six at the moment and has been off school for three months.

“He wants to get his shirt signed and he wants to be able to see friends and play with them.

“He was looking forward to the residential trip at the end of Year Six.

“But he can’t do any of that now.”

"He was looking forward to the residential trip at the end of year six.

“But he can’t do any of that now.”

The Bolton News: During happier timesDuring happier times

One of Dillon’s best friends comes to visit him after school, which ‘does cheer him up’.

Maddison added: “It has really affected his well-being because he spends most of his time in his bedroom.

“We are a very close family and have been watching his favourite films together.

“Some days are better than others, especially with how quickly it happened.

“My cousin Jessica, who has put the fundraiser together, has given us a bit of hope.

“Our priority is Dillon and getting him better, so that he can live his life again.”

Dillon’s mum has also just started as a student nurse at university.

Maddison added: “I want to support her and want her to do this because she has wanted to do this for so long, but it is really difficult.”

CRPS is in three quarters of Dillon’s leg and this disease has the nature to spread to other areas of his body if not treated or managed.

Maddison hopes that this story can not only help raise much needed funds for Dillon, but that it can raise awareness for anyone else going through a similar process.

Dillon is currently on a range of medication, and trying physio, but this has made no difference.

There is no cure for it at the moment other than treatment at the Spero Clinic, in Arkansas, USA.

The treatment is expected to help get Dillon into remission.

Although there is little research, the research that exists shows that early diagnosis and treatment form the best chances of remission.

Click here (https://www.gofundme.com/f/help-dillon-get-treatment) if you would like to donate to the fundraiser.

This will help get Dillon to the centre and pay for the treatment.