Hydrotherapy pool the best Christmas gift for little girl thanks to donations

PUBLISHED: 07:00 21 December 2017

Annabelle's parents can now have a hydrotherapy pool in their garden thanks to the generous donations. Picture: Michelle Thomas

Annabelle's parents can now have a hydrotherapy pool in their garden thanks to the generous donations. Picture: Michelle Thomas


A family from Barkingside received the best Christmas present they could have hoped for after an entrepreneur gave them a £15,000 donation to help their daughter walk.

Michelle and Chris Thomas have battled through a bleak 12 months after 20-month-old Annabelle was diagnosed with spinal muscular atrophy 1 (SMA1).

In 2016 they were told she only had a year to live but after injecting a new drug, nusinersen, she was given a new lease of life.

To aid her progress the couple began fundraising for a hydrotherapy pool and the pair are over the moon now that Charlie Mullins, CEO of Plimico Plumber handed the pair a cheque for £15,000.

“It’s a wonderful Christmas present,” Michelle told the Recorder.

“It’s amazing I don’t have any words – I’m completely overwhelmed in a good way.”

“(Charlie Mullins) has been so selfless- it was such a kind thing to do.”

Annabelle will have to be injected every four months for the rest of her life, but since taking the medication she is like a “different person” and can hold her head up, make noise and kick in water- which is why the hydrotherapy pool is so important, especially since there are no facilities for humans in Redbrigde

“On Christmas Eve last year we were in hospital and didn’t know what was wrong with our daughter- it was incredibly grim and I couldn’t stop crying,” Michelle told the Recorder.

“We couldn’t afford to do it before, but after receiving the cheque we are now looking at building a physiotherapy outbuilding in our garden complete with hydrotherapy pool .

“It’s a perfect way to end such a terrible year.”

The donation by Pimlico Plumbers was on top of a £10,000 sum raised at the company Christmas party.

It is also donating £1 from every job carried out in December.

Charlie Mullins, CEO said: “Annabelle is a wonderful little girl and we’re delighted to be able to help improve her quality of life.

“When the Tories said they didn’t want my money for their black and white ball I could only think of one place to use it instead.

“I know Annabelle and her family will really appreciate it.”

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