Frankie, 4, to get high-tech wheelchair after £20k raised

PUBLISHED: 08:00 21 July 2019

Tom Penfold and Hannah Harvey with their son Frankie. Picture: Hannah Harvey

Tom Penfold and Hannah Harvey with their son Frankie. Picture: Hannah Harvey

Hannah Harvey

A family will be able to give their ‘wonderful’ four-year-old boy more independence after raising more than £12,000 in ‘generous’ donations.

Tom Penfold and Hannah Harvey with their son Frankie. Picture: Hannah HarveyTom Penfold and Hannah Harvey with their son Frankie. Picture: Hannah Harvey

The Mercury reported in May the plight of Hannah Harvey and partner Tom Penfold to get their son, Frankie, a life-changing piece of equipment.

The family, from Hutton, said it has been 'amazing' how many people have backed their appeal for a new high-tech wheelchair for Frankie.

Hannah told the Mercury: "The response to the fundraising was overwhelming and we are gobsmacked.

"We have been in a bit of a bubble and could not believe how much we had raised and how generous people are donating.

Frankie Penfold. Picture: Hannah HarveyFrankie Penfold. Picture: Hannah Harvey

"They have really got behind us and getting it out there. Frankie really has touched all of their hearts."

Frankie was diagnosed with mitochondrial disease when he was one year old.

It has left him deaf, unable to hold up his head, walk or grasp his toys.

Frankie's mum, Hannah, said the shock diagnosis of her 'wonderfully smiley' boy had 'devastated' her and Tom.

Frankie Penfold with his sister Penelope. Picture: Hannah HarveyFrankie Penfold with his sister Penelope. Picture: Hannah Harvey

The family smashed its £12,000 with the generous donations amounting to £20,000 in total.

Hannah added: "We are utterly in shock and still not come back down to reality but it is amazing how we have been able to raise so much money which will go to everything Frankie needs.

"We haven't got a wheelchair yet as we are looking at different models. At the moment we are looking at the Koala electric wheelchair.

"For Frankie, it is not just the standard chair, it has to have a lot of adjustments so it is best suited to him."

The chair will be custom-made to suit Frankie, replacing the usual gears with a joystick and simple switches.

It will give the toddler more independence and will be able to grow with him until he is about 12 years old.

When launching the campaign, Hannah said: "Frankie is learning so much so quickly so he will have no issue being able to control his new wheelchair.

"You can get some wheelchairs through the NHS though they are very basic and are only suitable for indoors.

"If we are going to get one, we want something which is fit for our lifestyle, being able to go outside and explore."

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