|The 2019 Presidents Charity
After watching Children in Need on the T.V. last November I was struck by just how many require support of all kinds. I have therefore decided my charity for this year will be one to help a local child, Ethan Maclellan who has an undiagnosed condition. With no firm diagnosis he and his parents have little support either practical or financial. As he needs 24 hour care and special equipment to assist in daily life there is a huge strain on his parents and all his family.
Ethan was born on 22nd September 2014, he is the younger son of James and Laura and brother to Tristan.
After his birth it soon became apparent that all was not well with Ethan. At first it was put down to possible reflux or milk intolerance but as he began to fail his age related milestones it was decided, in February 2015, to send him for an M.R.I. scan. This showed that the Corpus Callosum, the part of the brain that joins the two hemispheres, had not done so. As a result he is left with severe physical and mental deficits. Ethan is unable to walk, talk or sit up unaided. He cannot eat and is fed via a tube directly into his stomach. He needs 24 hour care and is on a lot of medication which helps with his various symptoms.
Despite his many difficulties Ethan continues to grow and is now nearly 3 feet tall, were he able to stand. He is making some effort to communicate through smiles and groans. He now attends Ridgeway School in Warwick and, after screaming the place down the first day, is settling in well. He has started to learn basic sign language and is also beginning to use a computer for communication. As you may appreciate this all takes time. One small step is a massive leap for Ethan.
Ethan’s daily life is made up of being cared for primarily by his Mum Laura, attending school and various appointments to Paediatricians, Dieticians, Speech and Language and Physiotherapists. He is also lucky enough to attend Zoe’s Place in Coventry for the day and Acorns Hospice in Worcester for the weekend three times a year. These amazing places not only give Ethan a chance to spend time away from home and to interact with other children who have disabilities but also give his family some respite. James and Laura devote this precious time to their older son Tristan.
The family has recently had a specially adapted bedroom built with a hoist and wet room. This was funded by the council but most of the other equipment Ethan needs has to be bought by his parents. This includes a specially adapted pushchair for going outside and various other things which help to enrich his life. Ethan will eventually need an electric wheelchair. His parents continually find ways to fundraise to help with all this and have hosted a black tie dinner, decorated their house at Halloween and done numerous runs. This spring they will be doing a 46 mile walk around four airfields. The money raised is not all used to benefit Ethan, some is donated to the charities that support him and his family like Zoe’s Place, Acorns Hospice, Birmingham Childrens’ Hospital and Ridgeway School.
Ethan is a smiley, happy little boy and his parents hope that one day he will be able to do some of the things other children enjoy. They believe that ‘ Miracles take a little time.’
We have plans for Ethan’s Mum is bring him to the pre-season coffee morning. I hope that when you have met Ethan you will be happy to support me in what I consider a very worthy cause.
Mike Cox ( Club President 2019 )