Thousands raised for wheelchair campaign a success

Chris, Jenny, Alfie and Thomas
Chris, Jenny, Alfie and Thomas
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A FAMILY who launched a fundraising campaign to buy wheelchairs for their young sons have raised enough to order one of the chairs.

Since launching the campaign in July, Jenny Mellan and Chris Wilmott have been overwhelmed with the support they have received in their bid to buy new wheelchairs for their identical twins Alfie and Thomas.

We want to say a massive thank you to everyone who has helped us so far with the fund raising. Because of your help we were able to order Alfie’s new chair

Jenny Mellan

The boys were born 13 weeks prematurely meaning they have been left with complex needs that affect their mobility.

Jenny told the Wigan Evening Post that she struggles to take both the boys, who celebrated their fourth birthday in August, out at the same time, leaving her virtually housebound in the day when Chris is at work.

But thanks to the generosity of strangers and help from their family and friends, Jenny and Chris, of Heywood Avenue, Golborne, have raised £4,925 of their £8,433 total.

Jenny, 29, said: “We want to say a massive thank you to everyone who has helped us so far with the fund raising. Because of your help we were able to order Alfie’s new chair.

“In 6 to 8 weeks we will no longer have to struggle on walks with Alfie and hopefully it will help promote Alfie to start pushing the chair himself more.

“This also means that we will be doing the Liverpool Santa dash this year and pushing both the boys, something that just wouldn’t be possible without Alfie’s new chair.”

Jenny and Chris will push the boys for the 5k Santa Dash on December 6 with the help of friends and are also holding a fundraising event on October 24 at Club 180 in Leigh.

The boys new wheelchairs will be the same height and much lighter than their current chairs meaning that Jenny will be able to take them both out at the same time on their own. They are not available on the NHS which will only provide basic means of transport for childrenw ith special needs.

Originally, Jenny and Chris thought the chairs would cost them arounf £5,000 but they now have a quote from Murrays Medical for the boys wheelchairs.

Alfie’s wheelchair has cost £3,900.20 and Thomas’ will cost £4,532.80 meaning the grand total of £8,433.

When the boys, who attend preschool at Hope School in Winstanley, were born at Salford Hope Hospital Alfie, who weighed two pounds and 11 ounces, had a bleed on the lungs and both boys had bleeds on their brains.

Thomas weighed two pounds and six ounces and had necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) which caused his bowel to perforate.

He was transferred to Manchester Children’s Hospital meaning the boys didn’t get to meet each other until a few months later when they were both transferred to the neo-natal unit at Wigan.

As a result of the brain bleed, Alfie has been left with mild cerebral palsy and developmental delays while Thomas has severe cerebral palsy, developmental delays and a registered vision impaired.

Thomas also struggles to sit up unaided meaning his wheelchair needs to be reclined to support his head.

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