Spirited Worthing boy writes to charity that changed his life

Daniel with brothers Tom, seven, and Jack, five.

Daniel with brothers Tom, seven, and Jack, five.

First published in News by , Health reporter

A teenager overcame his disabilities to write a letter of thanks to the charity which changed his life.

Daniel Southall has Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD), a condition which degenerates the muscles and has left him unable to stand or use his legs actively.

The 14-year-old from Worthing has also lost some of the use of his arms so writing the letter took a lot of effort.

Before he received the new powered wheelchair, Daniel could only stand by being hoisted into a special support while wearing a special physio suit.

However Daniel was eventually able to get a specialist wheelchair, worth £18,000, with the help of Caudwell Children, which provides practical and emotional support to disabled youngsters and their families.

His mother Penny, 47, said: “Before receiving the new chair Daniel really struggled in public places.

“If we visited a museum, for example, he couldn’t stand to see into all the display cases, but the new chair allows him to stand up. Now, in a crowd, he is no longer lost in a sea of people.

“The chair is also motivating him to stand, which is a huge physical and emotional bonus for him.

“What people struggle to understand is that disability affects the whole family.

“But now, thanks to the new chair, we can do so much more together and seeing Daniel chase after his brothers, when they’re zipping about on their scooters, is magical.”

In the letter Daniel, who goes to Angmering School, said: “Thank you so much.

“Sometimes I used to get wound up by not being able to do simple things, like not being able to see, or watch something that is too high, but now that can be done easily, which makes me really happy.

“My hand started to ache when I got to this point, so I’ll have to finish here, but it’s the least I could do for what you have done for me.”

Caudwell Children chief executive Trudi Beswick said: “It is only thanks to generous donations from members of the public that we can support children like Daniel.”

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