Thanks to bold cameraman, Obama pledges support for 3-year-old amputee in need of new legs

Nadine Bells
Good News
April 16, 2012

Thanks to the antics of a bold cameraman, U.S. President Obama has shown his support for the "Raise Your Hands for Luca" campaign.

Luca Williams is 3 years old. Four months ago, meningococcal septicaemia forced doctors to amputate the youngster's lower limbs. His parents are currently trying "to raise £1.5 million ($2.4 million CAD) to buy him a pair of prosthetic legs that aren't available on the NHS," the Daily Mail reports.

Dai Baker, an ITN cameraman, was visiting the White House when he snapped a souvenir photo of the president on his phone. Also captured in the shot was Baker's outstretched hand with "For LUCA" scrawled across it.

Secret service staff were unimpressed with the unauthorized photo-taking and were about to eject Baker from the building when he started explaining that he was trying to raise awareness for little Luca.

Obama let the man keep his photo, and even posed for another one.

"I nearly got thrown out. But fortunately they understood and Mr Obama later happily posed with me," Baker, who has won the White House Photographer of the Year competition four times, said.

The "Raise Your Hands for Luca" campaign now has over 10,000 Facebook followers, with UK celebrities like Pixie Lott and Sebastian Vettel submitting photos of "For Luca" written on their palms.

"We are delighted with Dai's picture," Luca's father, Mo Syed, said.

"It is amazing to be getting this kind of support. We soon realised that Luca's story had touched the hearts of thousands, including people as far as America, Australia and New Zealand. Even celebrities have started sending pictures to support Luca in his daily battles."

"Luca is an inspiration to us all every day," Syed told WalesOnline.

"The courage he has shown has kept us positive and made us proud. We now hope he can maintain a positive attitude as he copes with the awful effects of the disease."