08 Jun Overwhelmed by the help we have got, but that sums up the people here in the North
A FIGHTER who has defied doctors to near his 18th birthday is set to enter adulthood with a life-changing wheelchair thanks to the Go Bananas appeal.
Cameron Heeley’s mum Joanne and dad Jonathan were told that their son’s disabilities were so severe at the age of 10 that he would be lucky to survive a few days – but now they are planning his milestone celebration for August 30.
And The Chronicle Sunshine Fund is keen to make their lives, and 12-year-old sister Sarah’s, easier by providing a new wheelchair base and seating system worth a combined £6,000 thanks to June’s fundraising drive, making everyday activities far more accessible.
Joanne, 48, who is training to be a teaching assistant, said: “Cameron was diagnosed at nine months with a form of global development delay because his brain had not formed properly while I was carrying him.
“It affected his growth and movement, leaving him unable to walk and talk, but he can crawl.
“He has serious scoliosis of the spine corrected three years ago and that has now been fully fixed adding 2in to his height, but he still suffers with epilepsy and has regular check-ups at the RVI in Newcastle.”
In 2008, the Villareal School pupil was so unwell doctors told his parents to expect the worse in a short space of time.
But in the nick of time it was found Cameron had developed an allergy to medication he had been taking from the age of three.
Joanne explained: “They took him off the medication on Saturday evening and a day later he had chewed through his life support breathing tube and had come around. He is a fighter.
“He and his sister are so close and they are both amazing children.”
The Heeley family were given a special hoist three years ago to help Cameron access their caravan in Seahouses in Nortthumberland for holidays, and now they are hoping for the new chair.
Joanne added: “It will make everything more accessible.
“He is a young man and pushing him in his current wheelchair is not easy and not safe.
“The seating system would also be made specifically for him so would help him avoid pressure sores.
“I have been so overwhelmed with the support we have received from the public.
“I think it sums up the North East – that is what people here do.”