Penhill family bid to make a 'safe' garden for disabled son aged five

Disabled youngster Morgan Gibbons, centre, with dad Mark Willis and mum Ellen Gibbons in their back garden, which they need to convert into a safe space

Disabled youngster Morgan Gibbons, centre, with dad Mark Willis and mum Ellen Gibbons in their back garden, which they need to convert into a safe space Buy this photo

First published in News Swindon Advertiser: Photograph of the Author by , @Michael_Benke

THE family of a young boy who has had a difficult start to life are appealing for help to give him somewhere safe to play.

Five-year-old Morgan Gibbons has had to go through numerous operations already during his short life and relies on numerous antibiotics to avoid becoming unwell.

One procedure was to remove half of his skull after the bone became infected, meaning he has to wear a safety helmet to avoid sustaining direct injury to his brain.

As a result, his parents are asking for help so they can convert their garden into a safe zone for Morgan to play without putting himself at risk.

Morgan, who attends Brimble Hill School was also born with Down’s Syndrome, has reflux meaning eating he can’t feed through his mouth, is unable to hear low tones, has recently had two cataracts and has undergone heart surgery.

Helen Gibbons, his mother and full-time carer, of Penhill, said: “It’s not safe for him to go outside. He has to wear a helmet otherwise the only protection his brain has in parts is his skin.

“Although Morgan is five he has the mental age of a two-year-old, which means that he has no appreciation of danger.

“As he needs to be watched constantly he can’t play outside at the moment because it is just too dangerous.

“Because of the helmet he is only able to have one hearing aid so he has difficulty hearing. He is trying to learn sign language but that will only work when he is watching. I cannot tell him to stop when he is approaching danger.”

Helen, and Morgan’s father Mark are asking for any help people can give to help build the garden. This could be cash, materials, equipment for the garden or even time putting it together.

Helen, 46, said: “It would make such a difference. It would mean he could play outside without me having to constantly supervise and be worried him.

“It’s his birthday in July and we would love to be able have his party outside.

“We don’t have the money to pay for everything he needs and while the council have been very helpful and done what they can, they don’t have the funds to kit the whole garden out.

“Morgan has been through a lot and the constant trips to the hospital get him tired and I think this would be such a benefit for him. We would be so grateful for anything we can get.”

To complete the garden, the family need building materials and equipment such as concrete and diggers, soft play items as well as manpower to put it together.

They are being helped by local councillor Paul Baker (Lab, Penhill and Upper Stratton) as well as the Tesco store in Ocotal Way.

Tesco Community Champion Michelle Hobbs said: “The family approached us to help and we are happy to do so.

“We have a £2,000 budget for community projects each year so we cannot cover the whole thing but we will work with members of the public to get Morgan what he needs.”

A car boot sale is being held at the Ocotal Way store on April 20. Anyone can come along with the charge being £5 per car. The event starts at 6am.

For more details or to donate, call Michelle on 07547 956406 or Coun Baker on 07984 816293.

Comments (4)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

7:23am Thu 10 Apr 14

Chowmai says...

Morgan is a delightful little lad, full of smiles and joy at meeting people, (especially on the bus) despite all the pain he has already been through in his young life.
I hope his family are successful in all their efforts as this is one time the people and companies of Swindon could really come good and make a very deserving little lad very happy whilst helping his parents keep their son safe.
As the saying goes, it takes a village to raise a child or in this case a town maybe.
Morgan is a delightful little lad, full of smiles and joy at meeting people, (especially on the bus) despite all the pain he has already been through in his young life. I hope his family are successful in all their efforts as this is one time the people and companies of Swindon could really come good and make a very deserving little lad very happy whilst helping his parents keep their son safe. As the saying goes, it takes a village to raise a child or in this case a town maybe. Chowmai
  • Score: 13

7:39pm Thu 10 Apr 14

gibbons5 says...

That man is not Morgan's father. I know his father personally and that is not him.
That man is not Morgan's father. I know his father personally and that is not him. gibbons5
  • Score: -4

10:17pm Thu 10 Apr 14

timt1964 says...

gibbons5 wrote:
That man is not Morgan's father. I know his father personally and that is not him.
wheres the father? maybe he can contribute?
[quote][p][bold]gibbons5[/bold] wrote: That man is not Morgan's father. I know his father personally and that is not him.[/p][/quote]wheres the father? maybe he can contribute? timt1964
  • Score: -2

10:25pm Thu 10 Apr 14

Concerned of Wiltshire says...

This is a fantastic opportunity for good people to help this little lad to have something nice. Please find a way to help.

And please, this is not the place for daft comments - let's concentrate and doing something good here. Pass it on :-)
This is a fantastic opportunity for good people to help this little lad to have something nice. Please find a way to help. And please, this is not the place for daft comments - let's concentrate and doing something good here. Pass it on :-) Concerned of Wiltshire
  • Score: 4

Comments are closed on this article.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree