Hampshire & Isle of Wight

Crowdfunding success for boy who needs off-road wheelchair

Tom Burnett
Image caption Tom Burnett, eight, was diagnosed at the age of four with Duchenne muscular dystrophy, a severe muscle-wasting condition

A crowdfunding campaign started by a mother for her son who needed an "off-road" wheelchair has hit its target.

Rebecca Burnett said her son Tom, who has a muscle-wasting disease, needed the wheelchair to stay mobile.

The family's crowdfunding page successfully achieved the target of £12,500 to purchase a Terrain Hopper off-road wheelchair in three months.

Mrs Burnett, from Medstead in Hampshire, said they had received donations from across the country.

'Ended in tears'

Eight-year-old Tom was diagnosed at the age of four with Duchenne muscular dystrophy, a severe muscle-wasting condition that causes muscles to weaken and waste over time, leading to increasing disability.

The family, who live in a rural area near Four Marks village, are surrounded by tracks and paths rather than pavements, they said.

Mrs Burnett said: "We had a trip to a farm and it was disastrous.

"I pretty much tipped him out [of his wheelchair] and he ended up in tears.

"Why should an eight-year-old no longer be able to do these activities?"

The family set up a crowdfunding page after initially receiving a charity grant for some of the cost, and received donations anonymously from across the country as well as from friends, family and others keen to help from around the local area.

Mrs Burnett said the support had been "overwhelming".

"It has given Tom his life back, it is life transforming," she said.

The wheelchair is due to arrive by the end of February.

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