A “FANTASTIC little fighter” who is determined to walk on his own one day needs fundraisers’ support to keep his dream alive.
Nathan Hewitt is one of 10 disabled North East children who the Chronicle Sunshine Fund aims to support through its June £50,000 Go Bananas appeal - but donations are still needed to hit that target.
The three-year-old, who lives in Moorside, Backworth, with grandmother Susan Nicholson has quadriplegic cerebral palsy but is exceeding doctors’ expectations.
Now Susan and her son Shaun Hewitt, Nathan’s dad, are hoping the Sunshine Fund will raise enough money this month to provide the youngster with a made-to-measure seating system he can use at Sure Start’s Children’s Centre in Howdon, where he regularly attends.
Susan, who works as a gym instructor and swimming teacher in Tynemouth, said: “We realised something was wrong with Nathan’s movement when he was seven months, but the doctors said he was double jointed.
“But we kept pushing and he had an MRI at nine months which revealed his condition. But we had caught it early and the physio started almost straight away.
“I also helped him with massages and swimming. We were told Nathan would never be able to talk and never eat by himself because of the severe effect on his motor skills.
“But he has defied all odds and can now count to 17, can have normal conversations and is a very happy baby with a fantastic attitude.
“He doesn’t feel sorry for himself and just has so much character.”
The £2,230 seating system will replace his existing one which he has outgrown, helping to supports his posture, help him sit upright and enjoy playing and eating with friends on his table.
It will also compliment the seating system he has at home, and a variety of other life-changing equipment.
Susan explained: “The seating system will keep his whole spine in line, while allowing him to join in with friends and play with toys, and it can be pushed around with him in it.
“I worry a lot about Nathan when he is at nursery - he is the apple of my eye - so it will be a great relief to know he has the equipment he needs.
“I just want him to have as normal a life as possible. He is a fantastic little fighter who is determined to be able to walk on his own. And I know he will do it one day.”
Caroll Pattinson, Sunshine Fund director, met Nathan at the Sure Start nursery last month.
She said: “It was lovely to meet Nathan. He is such a happy and smiley little boy despite all his medical problems.
“I really hope Chronicle readers dig deep and send a donation to help us buy Nathan’s specialist seating system, which will not only keep him safe and supported but will allow him to join in with activities with his friends.
“Without the generosity of the North East public, we would not be able to help any of the children we support.”
To donate to Go Bananas, visit justgiving.com/Go-Bananas-June