UK

Disabled boy’s parents ‘blown away’ by help from celebrity Wrexham AFC owners

The donation was made on Friday.

Louis is a big football fan
Boy in wheelchair Louis is a big football fan

The parents of a disabled four-year-old have been “blown away” after receiving a £10,000 donation from Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney to adapt their home.

Aaron and Charlotte Perrin’s son Louis was born with a rare genetic condition called TUBA1A, which causes him to have painful leg spasms, limited mobility, epilepsy and cerebral palsy.

Louis loves watching football matches
Boy playing Louis loves watching football matches

Despite this, Louis has always remained positive and loves watching football matches, especially when his favourite team – Wrexham AFC – plays.

His parents were “shocked” to see a £10,000 donation on their fundraising page from the club’s owners on Friday, to help towards adapting their home in Wrexham.

Mrs Perrin, 32, who works in the emergency services, told the PA news agency: “Louis’ carer screenshotted the donation page and was like, ‘oh my God, look at that’, and then I tried to get in touch with my husband.”

Donation from the Wrexham AFC owners (Screengrab from fundraising page)
Donation page Donation from the Wrexham AFC owners (Screengrab from fundraising page)

Mr Perrin, 32, who is a headteacher, added: “I was at work and was sitting in the staff room and saw I had two missed calls from Charl and then a message from one of my governors saying, ‘have you seen this?’

“I couldn’t contain it; I just told everyone in work straight away.

“We were all amazed and so pleased and we’ve had friends ringing and crying on the phone.

“We were totally blown away by their generosity really; we were just in shock.”

The family hope to raise £40,000 to fit a downstairs bedroom with an attached wet room and raise the level in the garden to make it easier for Louis to move from the home to the garden, among other things.

Louis has a rare genetic condition
Boy smiling Louis has a rare genetic condition

“We’ve gone through two sets of plans with the local council and there has been no funding available due to the cost of the project, so to see the community donate, it has given us more hope that we are going to achieve our target,” Mr Perrin said.

Mrs Perrin added: “We just want him to be as independent and safe as he can be at home, and at the moment we have loads of temporary equipment, which can be a challenge as he is continuing to grow.”

Mr Perrin said although his son is not aware of the impact the donation from the Wrexham AFC owners will have on the family, he “loves being the centre of attention”.

Mrs Perrin added: “He was on the front of a local paper last week and we have it at home and whenever anyone comes over to the house, he points it out to them.”

Charlotte and Louis Perrin
Woman and boy sitting together Charlotte and Louis Perrin

Both Mr and Mrs Perrin spoke about how much joy football brings to their son.

Mr Perrin said: “When he was a baby, he would watch football on the TV a lot and its been brilliant for me as a dad to watch him be taken in by the colours, the noise and the cheering.

“Even though his speech is quite delayed, he was able to chant and cheer and it’s really helped him a lot with his speech and language.”

Mrs Perrin added he will often spin his wheelchair around in the middle of watching football matches and scream with joy.

The parents of Louis have been trying to raise money to adapt their home
Boy smiling The parents of Louis have been trying to raise money to adapt their home

“He just feels the atmosphere and I just love sitting and watching him at the matches because he is in his element,” she said. 

On March 23, Wrexham Police FC – which is made up of members of North Wales Police who play off-duty – are to take on North Wales Dragons for a charity match to continue raising money for Louis’ fundraiser.

Mr Perrin said Louis is to attend and thanked Wrexham Police FC for publicising the cause.

“I think it really was because of them that Ryan and Rob got involved and it was also so nice to see other celebrities like Nick Knowles leave messages of support,” he added.

“By sharing our story, we also hope to show that we are not a unique case.

“There’s so many families with either half finished builds or they have not started building at all and they’re selling up or having to give up work to care for their disabled children as they cannot access funding.”

The family’s fundraiser can be found here: justgiving.com/campaign/help4louis