Horndean man who beat all odds to live wins honour

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CHRIS Peskett’s parents have lost count of the times they have been told to prepare for the worst.

He was born with a condition which causes tumours to grow on all his vital organs and has suffered severe seizures.

DETERMINED Chris Peskett from Horndean with his mum Nicki Peskett. Picture: Malcolm Wells (150325-3348)

DETERMINED Chris Peskett from Horndean with his mum Nicki Peskett. Picture: Malcolm Wells (150325-3348)

Since then he has had pneumonia, liver failure, he is epileptic and autistic, and has fought off pancreatic cancer which left him on a life support machine.

But the 23-year-old has beaten the odds and yesterday picked up the Young Volunteer of the Year Award at Havant Volunteer Awards ceremony for his work with the charity Right to Work CIC as a teaching assistant.

Chris, from Horndean, said ‘The award means a lot to me and I enjoyed the day.

‘It was a fantastic experience to meet the mayor of Havant, especially on my birthday.

‘I see my tumours as just part of life. When you have that sort of thing there’s not much you can do about it.

‘You just have to move forward all the time.’

Chris has a condition called tuberous sclerosis which means he can develop tumours on any organ.

Twelve years ago his parents Nicki and Mike were told the tumours on his brain were growing and he did not have long to live.

His family promptly upped sticks and moved to Spain to enjoy what they thought would be the short time he had left in the sun.

But not only has he proved wrong doctors who thought the scores of tumours would kill him, he now devotes his time to helping learning disabled people through volunteering.

When he was a child he suffered from serious seizures and, aged 14, developed pancreatic cancer.

He was told he would never recover but is now a picture of health with seizures under control and the cancer, although it will never be cured, in remission. He is undergoing chemotherapy to keep the brain tumours stable.

His mum Nicki, 48, of Blendworth Lane, Horndean, said: ‘We moved to Spain in 2003 because the brain tumours started to grow and doctors did not expect him to survive.

‘We asked him what he would like to do, if he could do anything in the world, and he said he said “enjoy the sunshine and go swimming”.

‘He proved the doctors wrong and when he was 18 he wanted to be independent.

‘He now lives with his fiancée Kate Barrett in Horndean.

‘He is in constant pain from the tumours but never moans – he has a very high pain threshold.

‘I’m am very proud of him. He is always happy and never complains. Chris makes people laugh wherever he goes.

‘He always wants to help people who are worse off than him.’

n The full list of award winners will be published in the next few days.