A COMPANY has offered to help frantic parents who are struggling to pay the electricity bill to keep their son’s life support machines going.

TCS Fire Safety Services, based in Middlesbrough, is organising a sponsored walk to raise money for the rising electricity demands faced by Philip and Michelle Barker.

Their son, Liam, 15, has been on life support since birth and relies on two ventilators 24 hours a day to fight a terminal musclewasting disease.

The couple were told he would not live to see his third birthday, but Liam is now believed to be the UK’s oldest myotubular myopathy sufferer.

The Barkers have been told by their electricity company, npower, that their monthly standing order is rising from £68 to £147, which they are unable to pay.

The family, from Linthorpe, in Middlesbrough, say the electricity for the life support machines costs £80 a month.

Steve Young, from TCS, which designs and supplies fire alarms, said he felt compelled to help after he read about the family’s plight in The Northern Echo.

He said: “They seemed under the radar as far as help was concerned.

We are just filling a gap because we can.

“Their story played on the heartstrings. We are a local company, supporting a local family.

“When you look at what you have got, it makes you realise how fortunate you are.”

He is organising a 10km charity walk from Carlton, on the North York Moors, to Ingleby Greenhow, near Great Ayton, on Sunday, November 15, to be completed by colleagues and their families.

Middlesbrough Primary Care Trust said it was unable to provide finance to help the family, while npower said the Barkers were on its lowest tariff.

Mr Barker said he was thrilled by the company’s gesture and would like to take part in the event.

He has also been approached by a wellwisher from Gateshead offering financial support, but no amounts have been discussed.

He said: “This is like an early Christmas present for us. It would be a weight off our minds and it would take a lot of the pressure off.”

To join the walk, call Mr Young on 07970-016455.