Brave brother and sis­ter are fire­fight­ers for the day

Macclesfield Express - - MOTORING -

A TER­MI­NALLY ill brother and sis­ter were fire­fight­ers for the day to ful­fil a burn­ing am­bi­tion.

Ol­lie Car­roll, four, and two-year-old Amelia, who live in Poyn­ton, vis­ited Of­fer­ton fire sta­tion to see what life was like as a mem­ber of Blue Watch.

The con­di­tion means the sib­lings, who have both been di­ag­nosed with Late In­fan­tile Batten Dis­ease, will lose their speech, mo­bil­ity and eye­sight as they get older, and are un­likely to sur­vive past the age of 12.

Ol­lie was the first to be di­ag­nosed ear­lier this year and par­ents Mike and Lucy have started an in­ter­net cam­paign called Ol­lie’s Army to raise aware­ness of the dis­ease.

The web­site talks of Ol­lie’s love of fire­fight­ers so Steve Wood, a mem­ber of the Of­fer­ton crew, ar­ranged for the fam­ily to visit. Mum Lucy, 30, said: “They ab­so­lutely loved it, Ol­lie loved be­ing in the fire en­gine with the siren on and the hosepipe and Amelia loved watch­ing ev­ery­one.

“It was bril­liant see­ing their lit­tle faces light up and know­ing they are happy when they go through so much.

“The day be­fore Ol­lie was in hos­pi­tal be­ing poked and prod­ded so some­thing like this means so much.

“We are so grate­ful to all the fire­fight­ers, they put loads on.”

Ol­lie and Amelia’s pals were also in­vited to the sta­tion.

They were able to squirt a hosepipe, drive round in a mini fire en­gine, sit in the real thing, check equip­ment and wear a hel­met.

Lucy and Mike, 31, have two other sons and now have a wish­list of mem­o­rable events they want to do as a fam­ily.

Ol­lie was di­ag­nosed in Fe­bru­ary and, af­ter the three other chil­dren were tested for the con­di­tion, Amelia was di­ag­nosed in April.

Steve Wood, from Of­fer­ton fire sta­tion, said: “It was fan­tas­tic and the chil­dren had lots of fun.

“We said Ol­lie was go­ing to be a lit­tle fire­man for the day so he did ev­ery­thing we do. He loved it, at first he was a lit­tle wary but got re­ally into it.

“We also re­ally en­joyed it. It is nice to see a lit­tle lad and girl who you know are ill smile and en­joy them­selves and for­get about doc­tors and hos­pi­tals.”

For more in­for­ma­tion on Late In­fan­tile Batten Dis­ease visit ol­liesarmy. co.uk.

There is cur­rently no cure for the con­di­tion, which af­fects five or six chil­dren in the UK a year.

●● Ol­lie and Amelia with fire­fight­ers. Top Ol­lie with mum Lucy

●● Poyn­ton Net­ball team and be­low cel­e­brat­ing the mile­stone

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