Surprise! Early birthday gift from pub community is life changing for disabled Jamie

Jamie with his new wheelchair along with his family, pub landlord Clive Coules, Richard Duncan, Dave Whicker and customers.
Jamie with his new wheelchair along with his family, pub landlord Clive Coules, Richard Duncan, Dave Whicker and customers.
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A pub whip-round has paid for a life changing powered wheelchair for a disabled youngster who will celebrate his 15th birthday this month.

Jamie Hodgson suffers from a catalogue of complex health needs, including congenital heart disease, but until now he has got about with a manual wheelchair.

Jamie Hodgson with his new powered wheelchair.

Jamie Hodgson with his new powered wheelchair.

The teenager and his family were stunned on Sunday when Tring’s Black Horse landlord Clive Coules, along with pub regulars, unveiled an electric wheelchair complete with Watford FC stickers and banners.

Dad Eddie Hodgson said: “This was totally out of the blue and, for once, I was speechless. Our family would like to thank everyone at the Black Horse from the bottom of our hearts.”

Jamie has spent his short life fighting to survive and during difficult times his parents have been told by medics to plan their son’s funeral.

Today, doctors still do not know how long he will live for, which is why parents Eddie and Christine, who live in Tring, strive to make every day special and have taken the youngster along with his two sisters on several memory making days out and holidays.

The new wheelchair will give the teenager more independence and dad Eddie said: “He thinks it is awesome.

“It will make a very big difference to his life.”

Jamie is currently on good form, having recovered from a minor operation that left him in intensive care last year.

His medical team at Great Ormond Street Hospital are due to be meeting soon to discuss moving his gastrostomy, which Jamie is fed through, as it is now digging into his rib cage. However, it is an anxious time as any operation can be high risk for the teenager, who will turn 15 on August 20.

The Hodgson family would like to say a special thank you to landlord Clive, along with pub regulars Richard Duncan and Dave Whicker, along with Amber Signs for the Watford FC stickers and banners.