Rubie’s rolling thanks to new wheelchair gift

Two-year-old spina bifida sufferer Rubie O'Brien  received a new special wheelchair with help from Community Corner.
Two-year-old spina bifida sufferer Rubie O'Brien received a new special wheelchair with help from Community Corner.

A Wearside youngster has gone pink with pride over her new wheels after a charity answered a call for help from her mum.

Rubie O’Brien, from Southwick, has spina bifida which means she struggles to use her legs, but is thriving thanks to her new wheelchair - delivered just days before her second birthday.

Rubie receiving her new special wheelchair with help from Community Corner. She's pictured with her mum Ciara Heffernan, dad Kent O'Brien and sister Lillie.

Rubie receiving her new special wheelchair with help from Community Corner. She's pictured with her mum Ciara Heffernan, dad Kent O'Brien and sister Lillie.

The glittery pink frame, decorated with her name and flashing wheels, was delivered by Community Corner after the good cause covered the whole cost of the kit.

Mum Ciara Heffernan posted an appeal for help via Facebook and was taken aback when the Jarrow charity said it would pay for the £2,886 wheelchair outright.

Unlike her old model, she will be able to use it inside and out, as the former equipment could not be used outside and it will also reduce the strain on her shoulders.

Ciara, 25, who alongside partner Kent O’Brien, 26, is also parent to Lillie, five, said: “She just took off straight away.

It’s so important for her to have her independence.

Ciara Heffernan

“She absolutely loves it and headed straight for the puddles.

“It’s lighter and isn’t on the ground like her other ones, it puts her at sofa level, so now she’s at the same height as her friends.

“It’s so important for her to have her independence.

“Now she will be able to play outside in the garden, where all the toys are.

Rubie O'Brien shortly after she was born.

Rubie O'Brien shortly after she was born.

“I can’t thank Community Corner enough, there’s nothing I can say or put into words to show how grateful we are.

“This has changed all our lives, it’s amazing.”

Rubie is looking forward to showing her friends at Siblings Nursery in Wessington Way, Sunderland, her new chair, which has been custom built for her by Mobility For You can could last her up to five years,

In September, it is expected she will undergo a second operation on her hips, as one side does not stay in its joint, and she also has problems with one of her knees.

Rubie O'Brien in the wheelchair she uses now.

Rubie O'Brien in the wheelchair she uses now.

She is also due to get a walking frame through her physiotherapist.

Cheryl McDonald, 29, runs Community Corner and its shop on Jarrow’s Scotch Estate with mum Lynne Davis, 51.

She said: “It was fantastic to see her in it.

“It just makes us proud and shows all our hard work and the stress is all worth it.

“We also wanted our customers to know here their donations have gone.”