Livewire youths help wishes come true

Dalkeith lad Jack Thomson at the Nou Camp
Dalkeith lad Jack Thomson at the Nou Camp

A group of pals have done their bit for charity by running the Edinburgh Marathon in aid of the Make a Wish Foundation.

The Junior 2km race, run by Woodburn Primary School pupils Jack Thomson (10), Alex Parrado (11), Nathan Wright (10), Luke Gorman (10), Brandon Kerr (10) and Daniel Devlin (10), was a thank you to the charity that made a wish - to meet world renown footballer Lionel Messi at the Nou Camp stadium in Barcelona - come true for their friend Jack Thomson.

The group were joined by Jack’s friend Konrad Killin (10), who goes to Niddrie Mill school in Edinburgh.

The youngster, from Dalkeith, became unwell last May, as his dad Keith explained: “He had a sore throat and fever and as the week progressed he began to get worse. We phoned NHS 24 who said he had Scarlet Fever but when his top lip began to swell up we were told it could be a virus and that he should be checked out at the Sick Kids.”

Doctors diagnosed the primary six pupil with Stevens-Johnson syndrome (SJS) - an immune-complex-mediated hypersensitivity disorder. It ranges from mild skin and mucous membrane lesions to a severe, sometimes fatal systemic illness.

Jack spent June in hospital where he was sedated and ventilated in an induced coma for 11 days.

Keith added: “He came out in blisters and was placed in intensive care. He was on a ventilator and then had to use a wheelchair. His recovery has taken a long time. I’d say he’s still not 100 per cent.”

In October Jack and his family travelled to Barcelona where he and 27 other wish children from around the world had their wishes come true by meeting their hero Lionel Messi, touring the Nou Camp and receiving VIP treatment during a match against Celta Vigo.

Jack’s pals think it is amazing that Make a Wish can give seriously ill children the chance to have fun again and can see how much it helped Jack to recover.

Following the 2km race Jack’s dad Keith added: “They all loved it. They had been training for weeks and weeks and the atmosphere really spurred them on to beat their best times.

“It made me so proud to see him at the race on Saturday and how his friends supported him after such a horrendous experience.”

So far the lads, who ran as Team High Voltage, have smashed their £400 fundraising target by more then £850. Help them do more for the charity by donating at www.justgiving.com/teamhighvoltage.

Once you donate, they’ll send your money directly to Make a Wish.

A registered charity, Make a Wish Make-A-Wish grants magical wishes to children and young people fighting life-threatening conditions. When a child is diagnosed with a life-threatening condition, it has a huge impact on them and their whole family.

A wish provides them with precious memories to treasure forever – whatever the future may hold.

For more information on SJS visit www.sjsawareness.org.uk