A boy whose life could be claimed “any day” will be given a dream holiday after his community rallied round to help his family.
Michael Mason was diagnosed with cerebral palsy after a traumatic birth and his parents were told by doctors his condition was so poor he would not survive.
I’m just absolutely shocked at how much support we got. I spent the whole day crying.Donna Mason
Mum Donna and dad Robert were given the option of turning off his life support machine, only to be left stunned when their “miracle” baby began to breathe for himself .
Now they are now preparing to mark his fifth birth next week.
His condition affects all his limbs, he is severely brain damaged and he has to be fed through a peg in his stomach, with the Murton youngster unable to speak or walk.
Now, his family’s holiday dreams have been fulfilled thanks to a £1,600 collection by his village – topping a £500 target and allowing the Masons to plan two breaks away.
They will head to Blackpool, giving Michael and his brothers Matthew, eight, and Martin, two, and their parents a chance to take a break.
The family’s last holiday was when Michael was just one, when Donna’s sister got married in Wales, with the funds for their seaside adventure gathered through a funday run by the staff at Next, at Dalton Park, at the Glebe Centre.
Donna, 33, who had to give up her nursery nurse job to look after Ribbon School pupil Michael, said: “It’s been a tough four years and if it wasn’t for family and friends, we wouldn’t have got through it.
“We’ve had rough patches, but we’ve got through it together and we’ve only got one wage coming in now, and we’re supporting three children.
“Financially, we couldn’t afford to go away, but in Blackpool, there’s something for Michael, the older one will have the theme park and there’s the zoo for the little one, and me and my husband can spend some time together.
“All the conversations the boys heard at school were about the holidays, now when they go back to school, they’ll be able to talk about their’s.
“I’m just absolutely shocked at how much support we got. I spent the whole day crying.”
Donna had started to give birth to Michael naturally, but complications developed when the caesarian scar from her first child split.
“We didn’t know if he was going to make it or not,” added Donna, whose 40-year-old husband works for a County Durham packaging firm.
“We knew something was wrong straight away.
“They did tests and looked at his brain activity and we said fair enough after we realised he would always need a ventilator, but after we switched it off, he kept breathing.
“He’s our miracle.
“But he gets palliative care and we know we could lose him any day.”
Debbie Ayre, store manager of Next, decided to run the funday after she met Donna through the bootcamp held at the Top Club in Murton.
She said: “I think everyone is still buzzing.
“It was something which touched us and I wanted to see what we could do.”