Brave brother and sister are firefighters for the day
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