Brave Milo enjoys last Christmas with all his family, with help from big-hearted well-wishers
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Milo Browne, 10, got a visit from Santa Claus, went for a walk with a pony dressed as a reindeer and had lots of fun.
But behind the smiles, Milo is receiving palliative care at the family home in Howdon. He came home after spending from December 11 last year to January 9, this year in the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle.
Milo finally got to enjoy Christmas at the weekend, and dad Stephen Browne told the Shields Gazette: ‘It was amazing. People were sneaky and had done a collection and bought presents for everyone, and food.
‘Milo’s smiles made the day so amazing’
“It was a very emotional day for everyone. In our minds, we could not help but get sad thinking (knowing) this is our last Christmas together and in this house. “You could see the kids were feeling the same but seeing Milo’s smiles was what made the day so amazing.”
A massive community effort, largely spearheaded by causes in South Tyneside, made the day happen for the family and Stephen highlighted some of the people who went above and beyond to help.
They included South Shields man Wayne Groves who helped to organise the mega raffle to raise funds. It is thought to have made more than £1,000.
‘They made the day epic’
Stephen added: “Bede’s Helping Hands donated money and had Santa come which Milo loved.”
Stephen and Milo’s mum Laura Davidson joined in with the Christmas celebrations along with their children Fox, three, Felix, 11, and Mia, 15.
The North East Legion was also praised for ‘making the day epic.
"These guys do so much for so many families and always support Milo. To have them in full costume, interacting with Milo and even having Fox come out of his shell and show off his Star Wars helmets.
“This would have not been possible without the selfless acts of kindness and everyone who helped.
"They all said ‘for once we want to do something for you all as you have done so much for everyone else’.”
‘We honestly can’t find the right words. We are forever grateful’
Christmas at the weekend was his day and it was so special.
Stephen said: “We honestly can not find the right words but we are forever grateful to everyone supporting us during this worst possible time which no parent ever wants to have to go through.
“We all had our brave faces on and made it as fun as possible.”
‘He is the real super hero’
“We will continue to try and give Milo the best life we can give him and make the most of the time he has left but will also continue to try and make him proud of us through all the fundraising we are still doing to help others. We cannot change our lives but we can help change other lives.
"He is the real super hero and continues to defy the odds with every single breath he takes.”