An eleven-year old suffering from a devastating muscle wasting disease, has had his dreams come true after taking possession of a revolutionary, all-terrain wheelchair - thanks in part to one generous Advertiser reader.
Tom Dye’s Duchenne muscular dystrophy prevented him from taking his golden retriever dog, Harvey, for a ‘proper walk’ and, after the Harrogate Advertiser and sister paper The Yorkshire Post recently revealed his appeal for help, enough money was raised for the family to order the chair.
The disease prevents Tom, from Killinghall, enjoying simple childhood pleasures and, touched by his plight, scores of people donated via the JustGiving website to help him reach his £12,000 target.
It took one large donation from a Yorkshire woman and Advertiser reader, who wishes to remain anonymous, to push the total over the finish line to turn Tom’s pipe-dream into a reality.
Many other readers also decided to donate after reading about Tom’s plight in the Advertiser and wanted to help in the bid to substantially improve his quality of life.
Tom’s NHS chair struggled to cope with the average pavement but his new BOMA by Molten Rock can climb up steps, drive across grass and scramble over tree roots.
Tom’s mum Ceri says: “It’s not just the money that means so much it’s the lovely messages people have left on the site after being touched by the story. I’ve cried quite a few times after reading them.
“In Tom’s words it is ‘awesome’ and he’s already drawn up a timetable of when he is going to take Harvey for a walk.
“We are also working out how we can transport it so we can go further afield. Top of the list is Coldstones Cut, near Pateley Bridge. He went on a school trip there in his wheelchair and he was upset because it was so steep and difficult for him. That won’t be a problem for the BOMA.”
Tom’s new orange and black, off-road BOMA, was invented by Chris Swift, who designed it after becoming tetraplegic.