A PAIR of brave borough brothers who suffer with severe special needs are preparing to go on their first holiday in years thanks to staff at a Solihull pub.
Meggie Feeney had to quit her job to look after her boys who both have Dravet’s Syndrome – a catastrophic neurological condition which can cause severe seizures alongside other problems like learning disabilities, ataxia and autism.
Helen O’Neil, manager at The Woodmans Rest pub in Shirley, said after hearing about Meggie’s sons Mason, five, who also has liver disease and 14-year-old Jake she decided she wanted to do something nice for them.
Due to the boys’ needs the cost of medical insurance to take them abroad is really high, making it difficult for Meggie to take the pair away.
To give them their dream holiday staff are aiming to raise just over £3,000.
Helen said it all began when Meggie went into the pub one day and asked if she could have her food taken out to the car as her son was feeding through a peg tube.
In the past the pub community has done lots of fund-raising for national charities but wanted to do something for a cause closer to home.
“I just started thinking maybe we could help Meggie,” Helen said.
“I was asking about her children and their condition and she mentioned both her sons had it.”
Helen said she pitched the idea to her team who all agreed it would be nice idea to send Meggie and her boys on holiday.
After doing some research they decided to send them to a special Spanish villa which would accommodate all their needs.
“If one of them has a bad day Meggie would need to stay in the hotel room all day so we decided a specialist villa would be best for them because they would be able to stay there, near the pool – it will be a nice break for Meggie too,” Helen said.
“When she came in we said we wanted to send her and her boys on holiday and she just started crying, she was so overwhelmed – she still is every time people come forward.”
Meggie said Jake had been abroad but Mason had not so he was really excited especially about swimming and the plane.
She added the water would be very therapeutic for them especially if they were having a bad day.
“I was flabbergasted, I was floored and I couldn’t believe it when Helen approached me.
“Helen was was so sincere, genuine and so excited to help us.
“All the locals have got together to help us and it is absolutely beautiful, to think our local pub is supporting us and my children is really wow.
“It gets us away from our hospital appointments and every day life and allows us to go on a normal family holiday like what other people do all the time and probably just take for granted that they can book one easily, year in and year out.”
Visit www.gofundme.com/tjpa45dk to support Meggie and her sons.