CHRISTMAS WISH: Lighting up life: toddler gets his own sensory room

Swindon Advertiser: Lighting up life: toddler gets his own sensory room Lighting up life: toddler gets his own sensory room

CHRISTMAS has been lit up for a special little boy who has fought the battle of a lifetime this year.

Three-year-old Ashton Bonner, who suffers from quadriplegic cerebral palsy and chronic lung disease, has been on life support five times this year and has spent most of the last 12 months at Bristol Children’s Hospital and the Children’s Unit at Great Western Hospital.

Ashton’s grandmother, Maria Davis, of Penhill, who is his full-time carer, nominated him to have sensory lights fitted in his bedroom as part of our Christmas Wish appeal.

His mum, Kay Taylor, 22, of Eldene, said: “Ashton has a hard life. These lights will make an amazing impact on his life. He will be so happy when he sees them.”

Quadriplegia is the most severe type of cerebral palsy, caused by extensive damage to the brain. Children with the condition have a high degree of stiffness in all their limbs, and may be unable to walk. At the same time, their neck muscles are very loose and they may have problems supporting their head.

Ashton was born three months prematurely, and weighed just 2lbs 9oz at the time.

Ashton’s father, Jerome Bonner, and Kay didn’t find out their son had serious problems until he was about a year old.

“I noticed when he was a baby that he was stiffening up a lot, so we started the process to find out what was wrong with him,” said Kay, who works as a waitress.

“He needs 24/7 care. His nan does an amazing job and we can’t thank her enough. It has been a hard three years. Having these lights fitted has made our Christmas.

“Ashton loves lights and colour. I dyed my hair bright pink and the day he first saw it he was so happy and amazed by it. It’s the little things in life that make Ashton’s life so much happier.”

The lights, which will both stimulate and calm Ashton, were donated and fitted free of charge by Associated Electrical and Lighting (AEL) Ltd in Rodbourne Road.

Darren Wilson, owner and managing director of AEL, said: “As a business we serve the local community and it gives us a lot of pleasure to give something back and support the community, particularly at this time of year. It really feels good to help others - it warms your heart and lifts your spirits.

“I am a father myself and Ashton is such a lovely lad. If we can help brighten his environment then we feel rewarded.

“My son, Michael, did the installation. He was so eager to get involved and had so much enthusiasm. It’s the spirit of Christmas.”

The lights, which took about a day to install, include LED soft flashing lights, and there is also a soft colour change panel.

Kay said: “Myself and Jerome would like to say a massive thank you for all the support Swindon has shown Ashton. This Christmas Wish is going to have such a positive impact on our son’s life.

“It truly warms our hearts and we are proud to call Swindon home.”

Maria, who nominated Ashton, said: “Ashton has been so poorly but is always happy and has the most beautiful smile for everyone.”

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