VIDEO: Six-year-old Elliot lives his firefighter and pilot dream as fundraising continues for operation

IN THE HOT SEAT: Elliot takes a seat in a Gnat with senior engineer Paul Kingsbury and Dawn Stokes.

LESSON: fire fighter Micahel Shackleton shows Elliot how to use a fire hose

First published in News
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A SIX-year-old boy with cerebral palsy lived his dream of being a Red Arrows pilot and a fireman on Saturday.

Elliot Gower, of Southbourne, was diagnosed with CP spastic diplegia at just two years old, which has left him unable to walk unaided.

But the youngster, who also suffers with severe haemophilia, a condition which results in spontaneous and long-lasting bleeding, hasn’t let that stop him.

And on Saturday, Elliot was treated to a private visit to see historic planes at DS Aviation in Christchurch.

During his visit, the schoolboy took a closer look at planes flown by the Yellowjacks – the RAF display team who came before the Red Arrows – as well as having the opportunity to sit in the driver’s seat of one of Bournemouth Airport’s fire tenders.

Dad James said Elliot hopes to become a pilot or a firefighter when he grows up.

“Elliot had an absolutely fantastic day,” he said.

“It was just wonderful and everyone was so kind.

“Towards the end of the day, our other chil-dren had started to get a bit tired and ready for tea and Elliot was still enjoying himself immensely. When I told him it was time to go home, he became very wobbly-lipped and said: ‘But maybe when I get home it will feel like a dream’.

“He wanted to live his dream for just a few more minutes.”

Elliot’s dad and mum Morwenna have launched the Operation Elliot appeal, hoping to raise £66,300 for him to receive a selective dorsal rhizotomy at Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital in London.

This could enable him to walk completely unaided for the first time.

Elliot is booked in for the operation this year and is currently taking part in pre-treatment physiotherapy.

Because of his haemophilia, the operation will require expensive drugs.

However, the Gowers are already organising events to get them to their target.

For more information, or to support the appeal, visit justgiving.com/operationelliot or visit www.operationelliot.org

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