‘Determined and positive’ Northamptonshire boy, 8, sets his sight on ‘dream wheels’ to help him live an independent life

Joey’s family are appealing for help to buy the all-terrain, motorised wheelchair that would be ‘life-changing’

Wednesday, 7th July 2021, 9:19 am
Joey has already trialed the wheelchair and was 'overjoyed' by the independence it gave him.
Joey has already trialed the wheelchair and was 'overjoyed' by the independence it gave him.

A young boy from Northamptonshire who has lived with cerebral palsy since a young age has set his sight on his ‘dream wheels’ that would help him to live a more independent life.

Joey Spinelli, from Roade, was hypoxia at birth, meaning his body was deprived of oxygen, so much so that medical professionals had to resuscitate him for 11 minutes.

The condition meant that Joey’s brain was starved of oxygen, which eventually led to a cerebral palsy diagnosis.

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The eight-year-old likes to get involved in as many activities as possible.

Despite Joey’s condition meaning he cannot walk unaided, the now eight-year-old attends mainstream school and participates in mainstream sport.

Leigh-Anne Spinelli, Joey’s mother, said: “Joey is the most determined little boy we’ve ever known.

“He can’t walk or stand unaided and he has a walking frame for short distances, but if we go for a trip out somewhere we have to push him in his wheelchair.

“Joey has a real positive outlook on life.

The chair will be 'life-changing' for Joey.

“He loves his jujitsu and he takes part in mainstream sport, which is amazing because there is a noticeable difference between him and his friends but he’s still happy to join in.

“He wants to be involved in everything and give everything a go. He’ll find a way to do anything.

“But at the moment it can be quite stressful to take him out with his little brother and it can be isolating.

“So we have decided as parents that we've got to do something about it and started looking into a piece of equipment that can help overcome these barriers.”

To help Joey with his independence, his family want to be able to buy him an all-terrain, motorised wheelchair, which he can operate himself.

Unfortunately the chair is not available on the NHS and costs more than £12,000 to buy privately.

Leigh-Anne added: “Joey is a bright and intelligent little boy and we want him to have his independence to go and do whatever he wants to do.

“We want him to be able to go off and explore on his own and that would mean so much to him.

“This chair is going to be life-changing.”

Joey has already trialed the chair and Leigh-Anne says his ‘face lit up’ when he sat in it and he was ‘overjoyed’ by the independence and accessibility.

To help pay for the wheelchair, the family has set up a JustGiving page, which has already taken off and raised nearly £2,500, including ‘sizable donations from people we don’t know’, according to Leigh-Anne.

Every year the family also usually hosts ‘Joeyfest’ to help cover the physiotherapy costs of around £200 a week, however this has been unable to happen the last two years due to the pandemic.

Donate to help Joey get his ‘dream wheels’, on the JustGiving page here.