FREE to get about like never before, little Chloe Errington shows off her new set of wheels.
The six-year-old, who was born premature after 29 weeks and weighed just 2lb 4oz, suffers from cerebral palsy, with severe muscle imbalance and mobility problems.
The condition, which affects all four limbs, means she is unable to walk independently and needs a tripod to get around.
Earlier this year, the Echo told how a £1,000 charity drive had been organised to buy her a specially-designed tricycle.
Now, after being “overwhelmed” with donations from generous locals and businesses, the family, from Philadelphia, have taken delivery of her new Carousel Tricycle.
“Chloe absolutely loves it,” said mum Gemma, 28. “She’s already had a little ride around on it and she is over the moon with it.”
Chloe, who attends Easington Lane Primary School and undergoes physiotherapy at the Children’s Centre, in Durham Road, Sunderland, also suffers from autism, which affects her social interaction skills.
“She has casts on her legs at the minute because she has just had an operation, so she can’t use it properly,” said Gemma. “But once she has them taken off in a week or so, there will be no stopping her.”
The Carousel Tricycle, which is not funded by the health service, will also help strengthen her muscles, provide cardio-vascular exercise, and improve her co-ordination.
“We had to wait about eight weeks for it to arrive,” said Gemma. “It was custom made, so it does take quite a while. But the people who made it were great. They kept in touch with us and let us know what was happening.”
Supporters included the Beauley Lodge Care Home, in Fence Houses, which organised a charity night to help boost the drive.
Dad David, 31, who works as a part-time chef, said: “We’ve had so much support. We want to thank everyone who has made a donation. Everyone has been so generous.
“We also want to donate it to the Children’s Centre once Chloe has out-grown it. We want it to be used by other children in the area.”