Eight-year-old boy who cannot be cuddled spends dream day with firefighters

Rhys Williams with back from left Firefighters James Corley, Carl Gleaves and Jason Riding. Front, crew manager Phil Dearden and Firefighter Joe Aspen

Rhys Williams with crew manager Phil Dearden

Rhys Williams

First published in News
Last updated
The Bolton News: Photograph of the Author by , health reporter

A BRAVE little boy living with a potentially deadly skin disorder had his wish come true when he spent a day with firefighters.

Eight-year-old Rhys Williams suffers from epidermolysis bullosa (EB), an agonising condition which causes painful skin blistering and leads to open sores.

Every day is a struggle for Rhys, who cannot be cuddled or play outside with his friends.

But when two brothers suffering with the same condition died within days of each other, Rhys was inspired to write a bucket list to make his dreams come true.

Top of the youngster’s list was to spend a day with firefighters.

His mum Tanya Moores, from Johnson Fold, said: “They say people with EB can live until they’re around 30, but we have heard abouta lot children being taken away suddenly with skin cancer.

“It’s a heart breaking thought, but we are aware that it could happen any time.”

His family kept his visit to Bolton Central Fire Station a secret and blindfolded the youngster for the surprise.

Miss Moores said: “When we took the blindfold off in front of the fire engine, it was amazing to see his face. He was in his absolute element. He kept saying, ‘Mum, it’s such a good surprise!’ — it just melted my heart.”

The Johnson Fold Primary School pupil’s bucket list also includes treating his sister Michaela, aged 11, to a day being a princess and going to Spain on holiday.

Rhys suffers from the most severe form of the condition, both externally and internally.

His body is swathed in bandages that have to be changed twice a day and he takes a raft of daily medication.

Even being given a bath is excruciating for the youngster.

Miss Moores, aged 30, who also has an 18-month-old daughter Teegan, added: “We’ve been caring for Rhys for eight years, but listening to him scream in pain when he has a bath never gets any easier to listen to.”

Station manager Steve Parkinson said: “We wanted to give him a day to remember at the fire station and I know it was a complete surprise to him.

“He had no idea and arrived with his mum in a blindfold. When he took it off, he was in front of the fire engine with the firefighters lined up on parade and his little face lit up.”

To support Rhys go here.

Comments (1)

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12:09pm Tue 21 Jan 14

sueie1 says...

Brought a tear to my eye reading this, the brave little boy deserves to do everything that he wants to do :)
Brought a tear to my eye reading this, the brave little boy deserves to do everything that he wants to do :) sueie1
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