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27 November 2017

A PARENT of a Burton Albion Community Trust (BACT) inclusive sport project participant, has hailed both her child and the work of BACT, following a recent player appearance.

Club captain, Shaun Barker, who is Burton Albion’s Disability ambassador, was on hand to attend the ‘Able Too Albion’ project at De Ferrers High School last Thursday evening (23rd November). Barker took part in leading passing and shooting drills alongside BACT coaches, before answering questions and posing for photographs throughout.

During the session, Barker also took his time to talk to parents about the children’s background stories. When talking to Jo Lindsey, mother of 11-year-old participant Jack Lindsey who has Prader Willi Syndrome, it opened up a story that was a real eye-opener for the Brewers skipper.

Just one month into attending the session, Mrs Lindsey explain how the session had changed the youngster’s life in such a short space of time. She said: “Jack’s condition is basically where the part of your brain that tells you you’re hungry, his doesn’t work. He’s hungry all the time, constantly. At home, everywhere has to be locked up because otherwise Jack would just continue to eat and eat and eat and eat.

“When he was three weeks old, the hospital told us that Jack had this condition and they said that he would never learn to walk, he would never learn to talk and he would never leave home, do you want to leave him at the hospital? We said no, were taking him home and he didn’t wake up for the first year of his life. He started to learn to do things bit by bit, until eventually he was able to walk.”

Just one month into coming to the session, which Jack found out about through friends at his school, Mrs Lindsey was overwhelmed, saying: “We never even believed that he would be able to join in with a game of football. For him to be able to do this is a miracle.

“I’d love to be able to go to the doctors now and be able to tell them what people with Prader Willi Syndrome can do. I’d love for other families of children with the disorder to be able to see what their children are capable of doing.

“He’s finding it amazing, he absolutely loves it. The fact that it gives him that enjoyment and to be able to join in with other people, it now gives him the chance to look towards the future. The fact that he puts on weight really quickly, to do exercise is a big part of his life.”

Not only does Jack enjoy the session, but Mrs Lindsey, also said: “Now he follows Burton Albion and is on the internet to constantly find out how they’re going. It’s made a big difference to him socially to be able to do what other boys and men do in life for a way of exercise. He’ll be absolutely made up to meet Shaun Barker. He’ll be telling everyone at school and everybody else that he sees will know all about it!”

Reflecting on the evening, Barker said: “Obviously the news that Jack’s mum would have got from an early stage about his condition and to find out about what kind of life he was going to lead, is quite remarkable and inspiring really to see him at a session like this, running around, enjoying himself, having fun and living life to the full.

“Being an ambassador for the community’s disability projects is a huge honour for me. Coming here tonight and seeing what the coaches put on and seeing how much the kids enjoy it is lovely to see. It’s something that’s nice to get involved in and it was something that I was keen to do when I signed for the club.”

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