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Young amputee's sports day dream comes true thanks to school fundraisers

By Megan Archer | Wednesfield | News | Published:

Connor-John’s dream was to race alongside his friends at his school sports day this summer.

Connor-John peeps through the blue hoop while school friends Sophie Good, seven, Joel Jeater, nine, Reegan Bennett, six, watch on

The brave seven-year-old, from Wednesfield, has endured seven operations since he was born.

And just before Christmas last year his mother made the heart-wrenching decision to have his leg amputated.

Using a prosthetic limb for the last four weeks, Connor-John Arrowsmith has already mastered walking but is unable to take part in P E lessons or play football at break time – something he desperately wants to do.

So his teachers and classmates at Perry Hall Primary School in Wolverhampton rallied round and hosted a huge fundraiser day for the sports-mad little boy, and managed to raise a ‘phenomenal’ £7,000 to buy him a new blade.

Gobsmacked

Mother Imogen Parkinson said she was moved to tears when she heard the news.

She said: “I couldn’t believe it. I thought they would raise £1,000 to £2,000 max.

“I was gobsmacked. I can’t thank the school enough. It still hasn’t sunk in.

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“I told Connor-John and he said ‘does that mean I can run on sports day?’ and that made me cry even more. He’s so pleased. He’s been telling all his friends at school thank you.”

Connor-John, who lives with his mother and younger brothers Lucas, six, and Joshua, two, was born with multiple abnormalities.

He had to have his curved spine corrected with surgery and is also missing his right forearm.

Connor-John with his friends

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For the fundraiser, all children at Perry Hall paid £1 to dress in sporty gear for the day. Each class also took part in a sponsored event, such as a swim or a hopping race.

A coffee morning was run by the school’s PTA and event organiser Sam Ferguson raffled off homemade hampers.

But even the school staff thought they would only raise as much as £1,000. Deputy headteacher Claire Gibbings said: “Connor-John’s mum was in tears. We were all so overwhelmed, it was so emotional.

“We were so pleased to have so much support.”

Imogen, 28, had set up an online fundraising page before the school event, which has received £3,500 worth of donations, on top of the £7,000 raised by the school.

She added: “We have more than £10,000 now. A blade will cost between £4,000 and £6,000 so anything extra will be kept for the future. As Connor-John grows the leg will have to be lengthened.”

Go to justgiving.com/crowdfunding/bladeforconnor to donate.

Megan Archer

By Megan Archer
Deputy Chief Reporter - @MeganA_Star

Deputy Chief Reporter with the Express & Star. Give me a call on 01902 319363 or email megan.archer@expressandstar.co.uk.

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