The mother of a disabled boy from Northfield said the family are “still in shock” after a charity run by a Redditch couple replaced his stolen spa, less than 24 hours after reading about the theft on B31 Voices.
Daniel Armstrong, 17, from Northfield, suffers from Cerebral Palsy and Crohn’s Disease. The Miami Lazy Spa, which provided him with pain and stress relief, was stolen from a Corwen Croft back garden some time on Tuesday night (7th August).
With Daniel having just had an operation, his mother Sharon asked B31 Voices to post about the theft, in the hope someone had some information.
She said: “I just feel so sorry for him, he has had a tough time with illness. It breaks my heart.”
“This was the only thing that helped with his pain.” she added.
Redditch mum Maggie Underwood, and her husband Robert, founded Charlotte and Craig Saving Hearts Foundation (CCSHF) to fund defibrillators in schools and public places, following the sudden deaths from cardiac arrest of two of their own teenage children.
Devastatingly, Maggie and Robert lost a third child, Carrick, 19, in January this year. After many years of uncertainty, they now know that the cause is a rare genetic disorder – Vascular Ehlers Danlos Syndrome Type 4 (VEDS). Three of the couple’s remaining four children have been found to have the condition.
Despite their own losses and heartaches, Maggie and Rob continue to work hard to help others and the charity has to date installed over 280 defibrillators across the West Midlands and is now also raising funds for research into VEDS.
When Maggie and Rob read about the theft and Daniel’s illness, they were moved to try and help.
Maggie said: “Craig was originally diagnosed with cerebral palsy, like Daniel – sadly it was a misdiagnosis. We were just absolutely broken when we read about the theft on B31 Voices, so we asked our supporters if they minded us using some of their donations to buy him a new spa to put a smile back on his face.”
She added: “Our town supported us so much in January when we lost Carrick and we wanted Daniel’s family to know they are not alone.”
Friends and strangers also rallied around the family. Matt, from mobile phone repair shop Get It Fixed in Northfield Variety Market, has donated a shed and CCTV to help make the new spa more secure.
Steve Clarke from Northfield set up a GoFundMe page – any extra funds will be donated to Birmingham Children’s Hospital and CCSHF.
Family friend Samantha Dews said: “They are overwhelmed by the pure love and generosity people have shown! It has been unbelievable, the kindness shown to Daniel and he is over the moon with it all.”
Mum Sharon said: “We are still in shock at receiving a spa. It’s made Daniel one happy boy. We are so happy, and thank you all so much for your help. There are good people in this world.”