An Omagh family have spoken of how the face of their severely disabled child lit up with joy when he received his brand new special activity chair.
This piece of vital equipment was purchased for five-year-old Carson Colton, from Highfield Close, after his family and the local public embarked on a gallant fundraising mission to raise enough funds to purchase it.
Described as a ‘happy wee boy’, Carson currently lives in Highfield Close with his mother, Adele, father Brian, and four older sisters, twins Carina and Charlotte (11), Crystal (10) and Cassie (7).
His challenges include severe autism, severe global development delay and severe learning disability.
Carson is non-verbal, and still in nappies and also suffers from poor sleep, low muscle tone and severe allergies.
He loves studying at Arvalee School, where he currently receives three-to-one care, that is, where three people look after him full-time on a daily basis.
“To say that the new chair is an improvement for my son is an understatement,” Brian told the Ulster Herald. “He received it exactly two weeks ago, and his life has been changed for the better.
“He had simply outgrown the chair he had prior to this one. As he was too big for it, it was unsafe for him. When he rocked his old chair, he would have easily fallen out of it which meant that someone couldn’t have left his side for even a second.”
The special chair itself cost the Colton family a hefty £4,153 to buy – but more than twice the amount needed was raised thanks to a number of charity events held around the Omagh area over the past number of weeks.
These included a coffee morning, a table quiz, and a snooker tournament – and Brian himself even trained for and ran the Omagh 5k for the fundraising cause.
“This new chair is all singing and dancing,” Brian added. “It has shock absorbers which means that he can rock the chair safely, and he can’t fall out of it which makes it much safer.
“It also has variable height settings, which particularly comes in handy when we as a family sit down for dinner.
“Carson’s face lit up when he was given it after school.”
Brian has expressed his utmost thanks to everyone who has donated and supported to this amazing chair.
His thanks in particular, extend to the congregation of Drumnakilly Parish Church for their help, and to CrossFit Gym, based in Cookstown, who organised a fitness day and raised £8,924.
All excess funds collected will be used to repair the chair in the coming years, and will eventually be put towards a wheelchair for Carson.