An Irish mother and her son from County Tyrone are sleeping rough on the streets of Los Angeles so the boy can afford medical treatment not available in Ireland. Charlotte Caldwell and her son Billy, who suffers from a life-threatening epilepsy condition, find themselves with no money for accommodation as Billy battles the dreaded disease.
His mother has told Belfast Live that their situation is now "critical" as they are homeless in Los Angeles.
Charlotte, who is from Castlederg, has bought a tent for shelter and a camping stove so they can cook food. She said: "Our situation is now critical here in America. After much thought this weekend I had to make a horrendous decision. We have had to equip ourselves for the unthinkable; homeless in LA."
She is hopeful that by revealing their dire situation the public will support her through the Keep Billy Alive crowdfunding page.
She said "I am doing this with a heavy heart and tears in my eyes. I have appealed to our Health Minister but have had no response."
Just two weeks ago Billy suffered one of his worst seizures yet and was in a critical condition in a hospital in Los Angeles.
The family had enough money for lifesaving treatment, but treatment necessitated an extra hospital stay, for which they have no insurance.
Charlotte said "Due to Billy's recent unforeseen hospitalization we have huge medical costs to pay plus Billy's medical marijuana treatment.
"To date we have raised enough funds to part pay these costs, but it has left us with no funds to sustain our accommodation here.
"My priority as Billy's mummy is to keep his life-saving treatment going. I have to keep Billy alive."
She added: "But something has to give and I have no other choice or option but to forfeit our accommodation so as I can continue to sustain my wee epilepsy warrior's medical needs.
"Yesterday I bought a tent, camping cooker, sleeping bags and basic equipment to to equip ourselves for the unthinkable; homeless in LA.
"Please folks keep us in your prayers as we embark on what is going to be most likely our toughest journey yet."
To help the Caldwell family visit their www.justgiving.com page.