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.
Eurovision costumes, props and instruments are being auctioned off – and it’s a mad collection
Items from this year’s Eurovision Song Contest are being sold at auction this week, from iconic costumes to enormous props.
It means that fans of the massive event – this year held in Liverpool – will be able to snap up a permanent piece of Eurovision history.
Have you ever looked around your living room and thought ‘You know what this place really needs? Those giant purple hands that Kalush Orchestra danced on this year’?
Or ‘I hate this jumper. I wish a had a green one with a face on like those Daði Freyr Eurovision dancers’?
Or even ‘A set of fluffy pink and yellow heart-shaped cushions would really brighten the place up’?
Well now there’s an auction you might be interested in, with bids opening from just £5.
The original props, costumes, and even instruments are on sale now, until 11 June.
You could be turning the actual lectern thing that Graham Norton and Hannah Waddingham stood behind for the results show into a cool bar, or decorating your pad with the drums used in Sam Ryder’s powerful performance.
The top bids currently, just a few days after the auction started, stand at £500 – that’s for the presenter’s lectern and for the Daði Freyr jumpers.
Someone else has bid a whopping £250 for a set of fluffy cushions.
There are more than 60 items available to buy, including parts of the set, which were designed by Julio Himede and unveiled by the King and Queen.
The BBC has reported that 20% of the money raised will go to two different charities, split between ACC Liverpool Foundation and BBC Media Action, with the remaining 80% going back to BBC Studios to fund programmes and services.
Sally Mills, head of sustainability at BBC Studios said: “Sustainability is at the heart of everything we do, both on and off screen.
“We have a responsibility to operate with as minimal an impact on the environment as possible, and are always looking for innovative ways in which to further engage audiences with our content, and extend the life of our sets and costumes.
“What better way to do this than to give fans the opportunity to own a piece of Eurovision history?”
Derbyshire woman sent floods of cards for 108th birthday after care home appeal
A woman from Derbyshire has received floods of cards after her care home put out an appeal to celebrate her landmark birthday.
Ada Daniel is hitting a milestone that not many get to reach today – her 108th birthday.
Born in the picturesque Derbyshire village of Ambergate all the way back in 1915, and living in the nearby town of Ripley with her beloved pet Greyhounds for most of her life, Mrs Daniel had a successful career working at Belper Mill for 27 years before her retirement.
And also before going on to become, what Oldest in Britain has confirmed, is currently the 65th oldest person in the UK.
Mrs Daniel has lived at Codnor Park Care Home since 2015 now, and it was the staff at this Derbyshire care home who decided to put out an appeal on social media asking that kind members of the public send birthday cards.
They hoped to get 108 cards to celebrate her 108th birthday.
This isn’t the first time staff at the care home have put out a public appeal for cards, as they did the same for Mrs Daniel’s 105th birthday during lockdown back in 2020, and received that number and more.
And according to the home, this time has proved just as successful as the last, the BBC reports.
“Ada hasn’t got a lot of family left,” explained Kelly Goucher, who is the activity coordinator at Ashmere Derbyshire – the company that runs the care home.
“She never had any children, so she doesn’t have any grandchildren, so we just wanted to get her as many cards as possible… [and] I woke up to 135 messages the following morning of people wanting to send cards.”
Ms Goucher described Mrs Daniel as “a character” at the care home, and when asked what her secret to a long life was one time, she said it was “to have dogs, not kids.”