CHRISTMAS WISH GRANTED: Ocean Neill will soon have her wheelchair.
CHRISTMAS WISH GRANTED: Ocean Neill will soon have her wheelchair. Amelia Ahern

Emerald toddler to get new wheels for Christmas

EMERALD'S Ocean Neill is riding a new wave of excitement after the community rallied to raise $5000 for a wheelchair.

The three-year-old was recently diagnosed with bilateral Perthes disease and is not meant to run, jump, skip or even walk.

Most children with Perthes disease eventually recover, but it can take anywhere from two to five years for the femoral head at the top of the thigh bone to regenerate.

"We are so grateful to all our family and friends near and far, as well as the Emerald community, for helping us get over and above the target," her mother Kylie Hema said.

"Like so many others in our community, we have been doing it tough and was wondering how we were going to get over this hurdle.

"We are being referred to Rockhampton to see an occupational therapist to measure Ocean and order the wheelchair.

"It's a fair bit more complicated to order a pediatric wheelchair rather than an adult wheelchair.

"We need to be sure this will grow with Ocean and last at least five years, because they aren't cheap.

"We need to be planning for worst-case and hoping for best-case really."

Kylie said Ocean was still struggling to come to terms with having to stay seated.

"For now she is still being strapped in her stroller, so she relies on us to push her around everywhere," she said.

"When we actually get the wheelchair she will be able to get herself around.

"There will be good, easy days and hard days ahead - as long as the good outweighs the bad and our little Ocean keeps her happy personality, we will get through this."


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