The delight on young Ritchie Horrocks’ face said more than any words could convey.
The well-known Craigrothie lad, who has a rare health condition, was presented last week with a specially-adapted powered wheelchair, which will allow him to lead a more independent and inclusive life.
It’s something we never dreamed he would have.David Horrocks
The seven-year-old is living with achondroplasia, a form of short-limbed dwarfism, and his family has been campaigning to try to make necessary modifications to their home.
However, support and generosity from a number of charitable groups has given Ritchie the chance of a major breakthrough in day-to-day living.
The East Neuk Wheelchair Appeal handed the chair over to Richie and his family last week at St Columba’s Primary School in Cupar.
The group raised funds to buy the made-to-measure chair, which cost nearly £20,000 and will be kept at the school, while it was assisted by experienced charity campaigners, the Keepers of the Green and the Mary Leishman Foundation.
Parents Moira and David – who also have two daughters, Emily (11) and eight-year-old Lily – reckoned it would change Ritchie’s life in many ways, allowing better mobility and improved access to a range of places.
The chair can be raised to a considerable height, allowing Ritchie to reach higher tables and have eye contact with other people, while it also tilts back and goes down to floor level.
It has an independent suspension and is effectively a four-wheel drive model, over which Ritchie has a large amount of control.
“He absolutely loves the independence aspect of it,” said David. “He likes to go to the park – and go fast!”
Ritche had gained tremendous joy from having the chair in just the first few days , said David, adding: “We are really grateful for it – it’s something we never dreamed he would have. He needs it, and so do we.”
The family’s priority had been trying to adapt the house, said David, but the chair had come “out of the blue”.
Eleanor Bowman, of the East Neuk Wheelchair Appeal, acknowledged the help of the other groups with funding and added: “It would not have been possible to do this on our own.”