Our Stories - Marc MacDonald

The twinkling eyes of little Marc MacDonald conceal a battle for life that borders on the truly heroic.

At birth, his 18-year-old mum was told he would only live an hour.

He had cerebral palsy, no use of his legs or arms and was found to have fluid on the brain.

At one stage, doctors even asked for permission to switch off his life support machine.

“But he is proving everyone wrong,” beamed Ashley MacDonald, the proud mum of a smiling three-year-old son.

Quietly, the 22-year-old recounts an astonishing story of survival that should be an inspiration to us all.

“He was 15 days old when I was told he needed a heart operation,” whispered Ashley, from Bellshill in Lanarkshire.

“He was fed through a tube, powered by a pump.  He could not eat, breathe and swallow at the same time.

“When he was between 18 months and two years old, he suffered a twist in his bowel.  They took his appendix out at the same time.

“I can’t recall the number of times he has been in hospital in the last three years.  They told me he would have no quality of life at all, no speech or hearing.

“But I couldn’t write him off.  He’s my son.  We have an amazing bond.  It is unbreakable.  He is the best thing that ever happened to me.”

Incredibly, the cheery lad is now able to communicate with those around him, including devoted gran, Jackie MacDonald.

He can hold up his fingers to show his age and even blows kisses to a chosen few.  He can hear, too.

Tests carried out by his physiotherapist showed that Marc was also capable of pedalling and through his community children’s nurse, Ashley applied to the Teddy Bear Foundation for a specially-built bike.

The result is that Marc can now be seen on the pavements of Bellshill, happily speeding along on an Imp tricycle costing £852.

Said Ashley:”There’s a wee boy who lives nearby who had overcome difficulties to ride a bike.

“I saw the difference it made to him.  Now Marc is holding his head up and pedalling away.

“It has given him an extra set of legs.  He is like a normal three-year-old on his bike, building up his muscles all the time.

“I can’t describe the happiness I feel at seeing him out on his new bike.”

The Teddy Bear Foundation wishes Marc and his mum many happy miles on his shiny new tricycle.

Marc MacDonald

Marc MacDonald and mum Ashley have fun with his new tricycle.

Marc MacDonald

Marc MacDonald and mum Ashley have fun with his new tricycle.

Marc MacDonald

The new 852 bike paid for by the Teddy Bear Foundation.

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