They’re Brad all over

LITTLE Bradley Spanton was the star of the show when he was presented with a life-saving machine bought with the help of Hunts Post readers and Godmanchester insurance company Sureterm Direct. Also there to see him receive the small monitor were five gene

LITTLE Bradley Spanton was the star of the show when he was presented with a life-saving machine bought with the help of Hunts Post readers and Godmanchester insurance company Sureterm Direct.

Also there to see him receive the small monitor were five generations of his family.

Bradley, nine months, sat with parents Stephanie and Charlie, aged 20 and 25, during the presentation and was watched by his grandmother, Jackaline, 38, great-grandmother, Margaret, 60, and great-great-grandmother, Joan, 81.

The appeal to buy a home blood testing machine for Bradley, whose family live in Sawtry, was launched in The Hunts Post on December 19.

Just before Christmas, we said that the equipment would be the best present he and his parents could possibly have - but it would cost £7,000.

Within days, readers had sent in cheques, and insurance company Sureterm Direct stepped in to say staff would give up their Christmas bonuses to make up the rest of the money.

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Andy Wood, managing director, would pay the whole £7,000 if necessary.

After some searching a machine was found for about £1,000, although the testing strips cost £25 for a pack of 50 - one strip is needed for each test.

Mr Wood said the company would keep to its pledge of £7,000 and the rest of the money would be given to Hinchingbrooke Hospital, donated to The Hunts Post New Life Campaign.

"Bradley is a lovely little lad and we are delighted that we have been able to do something to improve his quality of life," Mr Wood said.

"And we are also very proud, as a local company, to be taking an active role in supporting the New Life Appeal, which is clearly a very worthwhile initiative."

By the time he was seven months old, Bradley had undergone five operations, being fitted with a pacemaker and an artificial heart valve.

He has a condition called thrombophilia, which means that without medication his blood could clot and cause a fatal blockage on his artifical valve.

Bradley has to take warfarin to thin his blood and have his blood constantly monitored to make sure it is not clotting. Before he got his new kit this meant almost daily trips to Hinchingbrooke Hospital - distressing for the baby and for his mother who does not drive and had to rely on family and friends for lifts.

Now Bradley has his own International Normalised Ratio (INR) machine and Stephanie will travel to Great Ormond Street Hospital, where Bradley had his operations, to be trained to use it.

As the machine was handed over on Friday, Stephanie told The Hunts Post: "We want to thank Sureterm and The Hunts Post and its readers for everything they have done for Bradley. My whole family has come here to say thank you."

Stephanie said a doctor at Great Ormond Street had suggested that the family have their own machine but thought it would cost thousands, as much as a hospital one.

Bradley's father Charlie said: "The doctors said they had not seen any other children of his age with this condition but, luckily, he had the strength to come through five operations."

The idea to contact The Hunts Post to start the appeal came from Bradley's uncle John, whose daughter Stacey, 15, was a delivery girl for the paper.

Bradley's parents have been told he will need to use the monitor for the rest of his life but that from seven he will start to learn how to do the tests himself.

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