The parents of twins boys who have spent their entire lives in hospital have been delighted with the news they will be allowed home in time for Christmas.
Brothers Carter and Deacon Farnworth have finally been discharged from hospital.
The two-year-old twins – from Leigh in the Greater Manchester borough of Wigan – have sadly been unable to live at home since birth due to their various complex health conditions.
They were born prematurely in September 2018 and suffer from congenital myopathy – a rare muscle disease which causes the muscles to weaken and waste away – meaning the boys are fed through tubes, need 24/7 support from ventilators, and require constant care to manage their posture and positioning.
But now, thanks to ground-breaking specialist equipment, the twins will get to spend Christmas at home for the first time ever.
Parents Melissa Anderton and Dean Farnworth said their homecoming had “saved Christmas”.
It’s all thanks to Newlife – a charity supporting disabled and terminally-ill children across the UK that delivers loan equipment within just 72 hours and can approve “fast-track” equipment grant applications within 24 hours when an emergency situation has been identified – which has provided the family with an emergency loan of specialist cots.
The boys’ mother, Melissa Anderton, said: “It’s just amazing, it means everything – it’s our best Christmas and that’s all I can explain it as. The specialist cots from Newlife have allowed us to be one as a family, we don’t know what we would have done without them.
“Carter and Deacon being able to come out of hospital meant so much, it saved our Christmas.
“The P Pod chairs have been a godsend. Now the twins can move around the house and be included and take part in things altogether as a family, we can all sit together and relax and spend quality time together knowing that Carter and Deacon are comfortable and happy.
“It’s been very stressful and there has been a lot of strain on the relationship, but it’s been good to experience the things we have because that’s made us who we are now.”
Now, the family are looking to give back ahead of the festive season.
After it was revealed that Newlife has lost more than £3 million in income due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the Farnworth’s are urging others to donate to change another child’s life this Christmas by backing the charity’s The Big Give Christmas Challenge campaign.
Any money raised through the challenge will provide essential equipment to disabled and terminally ill children who are in desperate need of support through the charity’s Emergency Equipment Loan service, and what’s more is that between 1st – 8th December, all donations will be doubled too.
Newlife is determined to help those families in need.
Sheila Brown OBE – co-founder and CEO of Newlife – said: “It’s been a really difficult six months for Newlife after the coronavirus forced us to shut all of our shops in March and again in October. We lost more than £3m in income but our promise of supporting disabled children across the UK has not been compromised and we’ve been there for families when they need us most.
“A lot of the disabled children who need our help are at most risk of the effects of COVID-19 and right now they need us more than ever.
“Newlife wants to be there for future families who need specialist equipment and we can’t thank Carter and Deacon and family enough for backing our Big Give Christmas Challenge this year. It’s a fantastic way to make your donation have double the impact and we’re hoping our wonderful supporters will be able to dig deep this year.
“Regardless of the size of the donation, your generosity will be directly changing the lives of disabled children and their families across the UK who are in urgent need of our support.”
You can make donations to The Big Give Christmas Challenge via the Newlife website here.
Grealish holds his hands up over Almirón dig: ‘I do stupid stuff’
Jack Grealish has finally held his hands up after mocking Miguel Almirón, assuring that while he has made mistakes in career, he has a “good heart”.
Speaking to the media at the national camp in Qatar, the footballer was asked about his now-infamous dig at the Newcastle player, quipping that teammate Riyad Mahrez “played like Almirón” in a sub-par performance during Manchester City‘s 2021/22 title-winning match back in May.
Ironically, Grealish‘s Almiron joke has preceded an incredible run of form from the winger this year, arguably being their player of the season with eight goals to his name already.
Despite the 28-year-old insisting he has “never really paid attention” to what people say about him, he will have inevitably seen the viral clip.
Nevertheless, the England and City star took accountability for the unnecessary outburst, confessing, “I do stupid stuff, that was one”, whilst assuring: “Obviously I’ve done stupid stuff in my life but I think everything that I do good is from my heart.”
The 27-year-old went on to say that describe his Premier League peer as a “great player”, adding: “what a guy… if that was me and somebody had said that about me, I’d have probably been the other way and been like: ‘f*** it'”.
While he said he didn’t think the drunken video would go public, he knows it wasn’t the most professional of moments and that not only is he “buzzing” to see Almirón playing so well but that he will be sure to “show him the most respect” the next time they meet on the pitch.
Army ‘on standby’ as UK prepares for more postal, rail, lecturer and nurses strikes in December
The armed forces are said to be “on standby” to help fill various roles ahead of a new raft of strikes across health, education and postal sectors this month.
Royal Mail workers, university lecturers and sixth-form college staff are committed to walking out over pay disputes on Wednesday, 30 November as various organised strikes persist across the country.
Countless employees from various industries who feel they are underappreciated and underpaid are set to join the ongoing rail strikes, as well as the thousands of nurses expected to follow suit on the picket line throughout December.
Now, as per the interim chief executive of NHS Providers Saffron Cordery, given the strikes’ proximity to Christmas, roping in the British military now seems likely. Dr Emma Runswick of the British Medical Association said there is there a simple way to put an end to mass industrial action: pay people fairly.
Speaking to Sky News on Thursday morning, Cordery confirmed that while the army is waiting in the wings to help fill relevant NHS roles, “the reality is if the army or other armed forces step in it will very much be at the margins rather than going out and driving ambulances”.
It remains unclear whether army personnel will be needed to combat the impending labour shortage across other industries. Regardless, the Communication Workers Union are going ahead will a series of strikes in December.
Having formally called on Royal Mail employees to join the national demonstrations for strike action on the following days:
Friday, 9 December
Sunday, 11 December
Wednesday, 14 December
Thursday, 15 December
Friday, 23 December
Saturday, 24 December
As for rail workers, RMT Assistant General Secretary Eddie Dempsey shared a similar sentiment, assuring that while the train drivers and the transport sector, in general, are standing firm, negotiations with Network Rail and other operators continue this week.
In addition to RMT members across 14 rail companies striking on 13-14 and 16-17 December, as well as 3-4 and 6-7 January, the Transport Salaried Staffs’ Association (TSSA) said that staff working onboard and station roles will take action against Avanti West Coast on 13, 14, 16 and 17 December.
Meanwhile, the National Education Union (NEU) which represents 77 sixth-form colleges in England are also striking over pay, stating that in real terms, teachers have suffered a pay cut of around 20% since 2010.
Furthermore, the University and College Union (UCU) already held a 48-hour strike last week and is now set to hold another 24-hour walkout among university staff. As well as organising a large rally in London, union members across at least 150 different institutions will be joining the December strikes.