A local family have thanked a football club after they raised over £300 towards their son’s fund.
Dawn Burrows, her husband Martin and three children were keen to thank Moneyslane FC after they donated £330 towards the Reece Burrows Cerebral Palsy Fund.
The funds were raised from a charity football match at the club on New Year’s Eve, which Reece’s family hope to use towards vital sensory equipment for the three-year-old, whilst also setting money aside in case of any future medical treatment in the US.
Reece and his twin brother Seth were born on May 31, 2010, four weeks premature. Just three weeks later they caught a virus, which would have produced something like a cold in a full term child. For Reece and Seth, however, it developed much more strongly.
Dawn explained: “The twins took something called the Para Echovirus. What they took was a combination of meningitis/septicaemia and a liver illness. They both took the virus, but Reece developed it 24 hours before Seth, so Seth was treated in advance.
“Reece was fitting and wasn’t breathing and the lack of oxygen damaged his brain. Within the first week of him having the virus we discovered he had brain damage, but it was six months later when we found out he had cerebral palsy.”
Dawn and Martin had an anxious time as they worried over their ill babies, whilst also having a young child, Xander, at home.
“It was rough going,” Dawn said. “We had another wee man at home, Reece was in the Royal, Seth was in Daisy Hill. We didn’t know which child to go to. Xander was moved from pillar to post with my mum looking after him, and he turned three when the boys were in hospital.
“We were torn between three children. Eventually they moved Seth down to the Royal, so we only had a floor between them and not different hospitals.”
Reece is registered blind and has many ailments from his cerebral palsy, but he astounded everyone last year when he started to walk himself.
“This time last year he got up onto his feet himself,” Dawn commented. “He thumps his foot out to feel the vibrations.
“The physio had been trying to work with him but he’s very stubborn, but he did it himself. He may walk, but other things have gone down hill. He can’t eat, he can’t even feed into his stomach, he is fed lower down, into his intestine. His biggest issues are seizures and his stomach.”
Despite his trials, Dawn points out that the three year old is quite a character.
“He has his own wee character,” she said. “He’s a happy wee soul, he always has a smile. He’s generally a happy wee man. He started the Donard School in September and he loves them to bits and they love him.
“It was hard to separate the boys, with Seth going to Drumadonnell. You see photos of twins starting school together and it’s difficult, but when I see what Seth does, it would never have suited Reece.”
The fund was set up after the Mourne Motorcycle Club approached the family saying they were holding a charity event and would like to donate funds to them.
Moneyslane FC were also keen to help the family after neighbours suggested them when the club were preparing to hold a charity match between the Newcastle League Division 1 winning side from 2003, and the Under 16 side, which in 2013 celebrated 10 years in existence.
Dawn stated: “The sensory equipment he uses is very expensive and whilst the school has that equipment, we would like to have some at home.”
The fund for Reece currently remains untouched until the family can raise enough for the sensory equipment they need. Dawn added: “I’d like to say a very big ‘thank you’ to everyone at Moneyslane FC for their help and for thinking of Reece and us.”