Paralysed teenager to making skiing history

A teenager from Northampton who is paralysed from the neck down is planning to make history by becoming the first child on a ventilator to go skiing.

Derry Felton, 15, who has a spinal cord injury, is hoping to go on a trip of a lifetime – a one-week holiday in Sweden.

To make his dream come true, his mother Tracey is appealing to Chronicle & Echo readers to help pay for the trip, which will cost more than £7,000, as Derry, who needs constant care, will require a team of four carers to go with him.

Ms Felton said Derry – although a bit nervous – was very excited about the holiday.

She said: “He will be the first child on a ventilator to go skiing. I know they have had adults on ventilators go skiing, but never a child. He’s going to be a bit of a guinea pig, but hopefully he will make the way for others.

“He’s well excited, but a bit nervous as well. He’s never flown, he’s never been abroad before and he will be the first teenager to do this, so he’s a bit nervous about it all.”

The holiday has been organised by the Back Up Trust, a national charity that runs a variety of services for people with spinal cord injuries.

Derry and about two dozen other people with disabilities will spend a week in Åre, Sweden, next month.

Although the charity organises the entire trip, the people taking part need to pay for the holiday, including the cost of taking their carers.

Derry, who lives in Kerrfield Estate, Duston, has been paralysed from the neck down since he was four after contracting a virus, called transverse myelitis, which causes permanent damage to the spinal cord.

Anyone who wants to help make his dream holiday come true can call the Chron on Northampton 467 032.

Source: Northampton Chron & Echo
By Mark Waffel at

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