SCHOOL friends of a youngster who has overcome massive health problems have rallied round to help the charity that helped him.
Children at Redlands Primary School in Fareham collected more than 80 bags of donations which will be sold to raise money for the Make-A-Wish Foundation, which made pupil Thomas Allfree’s dream come true.
Pupils took in more than 660lbs of unwanted clothing, shoes, bedding, books, CDs, DVDs and computer games.
Thomas was born with heart and kidney failure, and had to undergo open-heart surgery at six months.
Since then the five-year-old has continued to have regular hospital check-ups, and it was his renal consultant who suggested that Thomas should get a treat from the Make-A-Wish Foundation for everything he has been through.
He was given his wish of meeting CBeebies star Mr Tumble during a VIP trip to London.
Karen Arnold, early years classroom assistant, said: ‘Thomas is a very happy lad and he’s really popular with the other children – he’s a superstar.
‘When his mum mentioned Make-A-Wish to me, I felt that as a school it would be nice to do something for the charity to say thank you and so other children could have the same opportunity as Thomas.
‘I was amazed by the response we got. I had no idea how many bags we would get, so it was just fantastic. I was so pleased and very grateful to everyone at the school.’
Mum Sarah Allfree, of Bosuns Close in Fareham, said: ‘When he was born, the outlook wasn’t that brilliant but he’s come back against all the odds.
‘At the moment his condition is stable with the medication and his dietary supplement – he has an overnight feeding pump through his stomach.
‘Dialysis will probably happen in the future but for now we’re making the most of it. Apart from the tube into his stomach, which means he’s got to be a bit careful, he’s a completely normal little boy.’
The ongoing kidney problems mean Thomas will end up on the transplant list.
Mrs Allfree added: ‘The day in London – we were treated like royalty, it was really nice. When Karen asked if they could do anything to help it was really touching. It was really lovely.’
The Make-A-Wish Foundation makes dreams come true for children with life-threatening illnesses.
For more information go to make-a-wish.org.uk or call 01276 405060.