Waterlooville family say big thanks for new wheelchair

OVERJOYED Sam Merrick can soon look forward to having a new wheelchair
OVERJOYED Sam Merrick can soon look forward to having a new wheelchair
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WHEN the family of Sam Merrick set up a fundraising page to get him a new wheelchair, they were blown away with how quickly the cash came in.

In a matter of days, thousands of pounds was raised to get eight-year-old Sam the chair he needs.

We are just so amazed at the generosity of those around us

Louise Merrick

Most of the cash, £3,000, was donated by St Vincent Lodge – an RAOB club, in Gosport, with other generous people raising £500.

The new chair has now been ordered and Sam’s mum Louise, from Denmead, is thanking everyone who donated.

She said: ‘We are just so amazed at the generosity of those around us, especially just after Christmas when funds are so tight.

‘Irrelative of Sam’s chair we now understand the real meaning of community spirit and that we will never truly be alone.’

As previously reported in The News, Sam has spent a large part of his life in Queen Alexandra Hospital after being born prematurely.

He has chronic lung disease and an immuno-deficiency disorder.

But the youngster has not let his illness stop him helping others by starting his own charity Sam’s Haven which offers respite holidays for families and children with terminal or life-threatening illnesses.

Due to his condition, Sam sometimes needs a wheelchair to move around but his current one was too small.

Last year his family were told it would be at least 18-months before he got a new one.

So they started fundraising for the £3,500 to get a chair which can ‘grow as Sam grows’.

Family friend Hannah Kirk set up a fundraising page and thanks to a Facebook page by Louise’s sister Liz Proctor, the money was raised.

Louise added: ‘The chair will give Sam so much independence to grow as any healthy child and allow him to be more active.

‘As he grows he can access the normal day-to-day needs like going to the shops.

‘We chose this chair because it will grow with Sam and in theory Sam will not need a new one until adult hood or as long as the life of the chair.’

Last year, Sam’s dedication to helping others saw him fulfil a dream as he got to meet Prince Harry after winning a WellChild award.

At a ceremony held in Dorchester, he was presented with an Inspirational Child award.

Before the evening began, he got to meet Prince Harry – who is a patron of WellChild – and gave him a soft toy he made out of socks.

n For more information or if you wish to donate to Sam’s Haven please pay a visit to their website at samshaven.com.