William, sister Soraya and mum Celia Knight.
William, sister Soraya and mum Celia Knight. Tanya Easterby

Wheels make three-year-old Will’s world

AN ALMOST overnight transformation has turned Gympie three-year-old William Brady into the independent little boy he'd been longing to become.

The catalyst was the arrival of William's own $20,000 motorised wheelchair that has given him mobility he has never had before in his life.

Since the long-awaited chair arrived for William two weeks ago, his mum Celia Knight has described her son as nothing short of "unstoppable".

Before then William, who has arthrogryposis multiplex congenita with amyoplasia, was carried everywhere he went.

The neurological disorder stems the development of muscles and means movements in joints are severely limited. For William the condition means he can't walk or bend his elbows and has significant trouble holding things in his hands.

Now, William is driving his own destiny, literally; able to zoom around the house, the backyard and the park.

"The things that we take for granted, he is discovering for the first time," his proud mum said.

Those everyday things triggering a first-time smile on Will's face are as simple as bees at flowers, the usual utensils occupying a kitchen bench and a monkey fridge magnet.

The monkey magnet has been on the family's fridge for years but Will had never seen it until he was able to explore the house in his new chair.

An excited William rushed to his mum with urgent news upon finding the monkey to tell her, "Mum! There's a monkey on the fridge!"

But while noticing new things and going new places is part of William's second introduction to the world, the chance for him to be involved with whatever is going on around him is possibly the most exciting.

"I realised he just wanted to be a part of it," Celia said.

Hide and seek with his cousins, cooking in the kitchen with mum and handiwork in the back yard with dad Josh are all things William now gets to be a part of.

"Watching him be independent is amazing," Josh said.

"My wish as a father has come true.

"I just love him; he is amazing."

And William thinks he's pretty amazing too, thanks to his new wheels.

"He's driving around in the chair and he says "Look mum, I'm amazing. I'm super"," Celia said.

"And it's like yes, you are."

The other feat that proved amazing was the support the family received to raise the $20,000 needed to purchase William's chair.

Strong support was shown by Josh's Gympie representative cricket team, Gympie Gold Offroad XI, through several fundraising initiatives, including a charity golf day on August 4, all of which was driven by Gympie cricket stalwarts Bob and Shirley Blackburn.

They joined a village of supporters including friends, family, local businesses and the Gympie Cricket Association. Another significant chunk of the cost was taken care of by the Steve Waugh Foundation Australia.

Gympie Times


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