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Camp Amazing will help families of disabled children like little Tommy
WHEN Claire Chissell gave birth to her youngest child Tommy, she felt her family was complete. But it wasn’t long before she realised her baby son was different.
Although Tommy was born six weeks prematurely, Claire had a gut feeling that her fifth child was going to need extra care.
“My husband and I were so proud of our completed family and felt so blessed, but instantly I knew something was wrong with little Tommy,” she says. “He was very pale rather like a porcelain doll.
“But it wasn’t this that made me feel uneasy as many babies are born prematurely.
“Deep down I had a feeling that he was different and would need extra care – I guess this is what you call a mother’s instinct.”
Claire’s instincts proved to be right. Tommy had his first operation at just four weeks old for one of his many conditions known as pyloric stenosis. Since then Tommy, who is now three years old, has been diagnosed with a number of other conditions ranging from hearing impairment to a serious heart condition.
“It has been confirmed that he has a rare genetic disorder, but which one he has is still unknown,” Claire explains.
“He has been under numerous tests and will continue to do so into the foreseeable future.”
Now the mother of five from Poole, is campaigning to set up a charity called Camp Amazing to help other local families with disabled children.
“Thomas is amongst many other disabled children in the UK, each of which have amazing families supporting them each and every day. These families face enormous challenges every day, and it has taken me a great deal of heartache and strength to come to this understanding.”
Camp Amazing will be held at Holton Lee in Poole from July 27 to 29 next year.
There will be family entertainment and a chance for families to meet others in a similar situation.
“Camp Amazing is also about raising awareness and funds as well as getting the message to the families who need us.”
Claire adds: “Tommy is a beautiful and happy boy and he brings us huge amounts of joy, but it is unknown how long we will have Tommy. As a mother, I know that the best thing I can do for Tommy and the rest of the family, is to create memories which will stay with each of us forever.”
For more information visit camp-amazing-moonfruit.com or email Claire on clairechissell@ hotmail.com