Kind-hearted friends raise funds for Sam

Friends of the family of Sam McMillan (14) have raised money to buy him specially adapted swing. Mum Caroline, sister Leila (11) and Sam.

Friends of the family of Sam McMillan (14) have raised money to buy him specially adapted swing. Mum Caroline, sister Leila (11) and Sam.

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Kind-hearted friends of a profoundly disabled Milngavie teenager have raised thousands of pounds to buy him a specially adapted swing.

Joanne McFadden, from Rutherglen, along with her pals who have been affectionately named Sam’s Angels, wanted to bring a little bit of joy and fun to 14-year-old Sam McMillan’s life.

He has Angelman Syndrome - a very rare neuro-genetic disorder that occurs in one in 15,000 births.

It is often misdiagnosed as cerebral palsy or autism due to a lack of awareness but individuals with Angelman syndrome require lifelong care.

Sam is profoundly disabled and he has never spoken but his mum, Caroline, says he’s never stopped smiling.

She said: “While he loves to visit the park with his doting sister Leila he has only ever been able to sit and watch because mainstream play parks are not equipped for children with disabilities.

“I have always felt it’s a real shame that he has never been able to participate because every child deserves the right to play.”

Family friend Joanne (43), realised how wonderful it would be for Sam to have his own specially adapted swing and set up a GoFundMe page to try to raise the money for it.

She joined 30 ladies to take part in the Glasgow 10k in May and they raised £4,970 in just four months.

Combined with another offline donation from The Catherine McEwan Foundation the team managed to raise in the region of £9,000 - enough for the swing.

Caroline added: “We’ve been totally overwhelmed with all the donations and support from friends, family and members of the local community who don’t even know us.

“Sam will be thrilled to have his very own swing and to be able to play in his own garden with his sister.

“Additional funds which are raised will all be donated to the Yorkhill Sick Children’s Hospital via The Catherine McEwan Foundation.”

To make a donation to this worthy cause visit www.gofundme.com/SAM-S-ANGELS.