A BRAUNTON schoolboy has spent a day in a wheelchair to raise money for the hospital ward that helped to look after his disabled mum. Nine-year-old Samuel Major decided to take on the challenge at Southmead Primary School to say thank-you to staff at Nort

A BRAUNTON schoolboy has spent a day in a wheelchair to raise money for the hospital ward that helped to look after his disabled mum.

Nine-year-old Samuel Major decided to take on the challenge at Southmead Primary School to say thank-you to staff at North Devon District Hospital's Capener Ward and to raise awareness of his mum's condition.

Katie Major was left paralysed from the chest down following a car accident on the A361 North Devon link road, near Rackenford in December, 2008.

She has been given months of physiotherapy by staff on the orthopaedic ward as part of her recovery following the life-changing crash.

Speaking to the Gazette a few hours into his challenge on Thursday morning, Samuel said he hoped to raise £80 for the ward.

"I'm doing pretty well so far, but I can see how hard it is for mum to get about sometimes," he said.

"It's the little things that can make life more difficult like when my brother left his toys out this morning."

Katie, 35, husband Mark 34, Samuel and younger brother Benjamin are still getting used to life 18 months after the accident.

"I'm extremely proud of Samuel as he has done all this off his own back," said Katie.

"People have been raising money for us to help us to convert the bungalow and Samuel said he wanted to help. I told him he couldn't really raise money to help us and he went away and thought about it for a couple of weeks and said 'Mum, I want to raise money for the hospital because they really looked after you'.

"When he told me he wanted to spend the day in a wheelchair I told him I wasn't sure but he said 'Mum, if you can do it, I can do it.

"I now think it's a great idea; he's been looking forward to it and we want to say thank-you to Braunton Mobility for loaning Samuel the wheelchair for the day."

Samuel isn't the only family member wanting to give something back; dad Mark is set to run the London Marathon next year in aid of the Spinal Injuries Association.

Readers wanting to sponsor Samuel or Mark can do so at their family-run garage, S&B Automotive, based at Chivenor Business Park.