Torch lights up day for patients

Joe Forrester at Ninewells Hospital with five-year-old Ezekiel and his mum.
Joe Forrester at Ninewells Hospital with five-year-old Ezekiel and his mum.
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A BALMULLO teenager who had the honour of carrying the Olympic torch has given ill youngsters the chance to share in his once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Joe Forrester (13) led a ‘Chariots of Fire’ re-enactment on St Andrews’ West Sands when the flame visited north east Fife in June.

And last week he thrilled children at Ninewells Hospital in Dundee when he took the torch to ward 29, where he himself underwent treatment for an ear tumour.

Joe’s mum Sue said her son — an S3 pupil at Bell Baxter High School — had been delighted to bring smiles to the faces of children in the ward.

TUMOUR

She said: “We’d already taken the torch to Joe’s old school, Balmullo Primary, where all the pupils got to hold it.

“It was such fun and the children loved it.

“So we thought it would be a nice idea to take the torch to the children’s ward at Ninewells.”

Joe was diagnosed with a tumour in his middle ear when he was just five years old.

That meant he was in and out of hospital, undergoing several operations, and still requires ongoing treatment.

Sue said: “The poor lad has really been in the wars.

“But when he was lying in hospital, it was always the case that there was a child worse off elsewhere in the ward.

“Taking the torch back to Ninewells was so worthwhile and Joe and the children really enjoyed it.

“There was a little lad waiting for us at the entrance, so he became the unofficial torchbearer for the day!”

She went on: “We got some great pictures on the day, which we’ve sent to the Olympic organisers.

“They were looking for photographs of the things torchbearers have done since carrying the flame.”

Joe is a keen athlete and a member of Fife AC, which made it all the more appropriate that he was part of the iconic ‘Chariots of Fire’ torch relay re-enactment.

Sue added: “Joe loves his sport, especially at school.

“When he found out he’d be carrying the torch on June 13, the first thing he said was: ‘I hope I don’t miss PE!’”