October 27th, 2016

Oarsome effort is to honour Bertie

Updated: 9:25 am, May 13, 2016

A DAD is taking to the water in honour of his young son Bertie who battled the odds to overcome a deadly brain infection.

Tom Williams and wife Emily were devastated when their newborn was diagnosed with viral encephalitis at just a few weeks old. The infection had damaged the youngster’s brain and left him at risk of developing cerebral palsy.

Despite the odds Bertie pulled through and is now thankfully believed to be clear of the illness.

But the threat of the condition has left Barford resident Tom wanting to help other sufferers.

The 37 year-old dad-of-two said: “We fully expected to be the parents of a disabled child with cerebral palsy, but Bertie is now two years-old and on track with his developmental milestones.

“We are very aware of how lucky we have been and that there are so many families out there with children which have a very different outcome.”

Tom – a marketing director for a pharmaceutical company – decided he wanted to help youngsters who suffer from the disease, and is now raising money for PACE – a charity supporting children with cerebral palsy.

He will be joined by friends on a 30 mile sea kayak in the waters of the Outer Hebrides in Scotland on Friday May 20.

Tom said: “I am excited but also feeling very nervous. We are well prepared however you can never remove all of the risks, particularly in a remote location such as where we will be.

“We hope to raise money for PACE, which is an amazing charity supporting children and their families affected by this condition. Any donation would be amazing.”

Visit www.justgiving.com/111-amigos to donate.