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8 months ago

INSPIRED #6

F R A N K I E ’S S T O

F R A N K I E ’S S T O R Y Five year old Frankie Bowen is one of Alder Hey Children’s Charity’s newest Young Fundraising Ambassadors. He recently became an internet sensation with his Michael Jackson dancing, despite being diagnosed with Juvenile Arthritis just two years ago. Frankie was born at Whiston Hospital in 2012. He was a perfectly healthy baby; a bundle of energy keeping mum Kat on her toes. However, at 18 months old - once Frankie started toddling, Kat noticed that he had developed a limp. Initially their local GP thought it was ‘growing pains’, but by the time Frankie was three years old, the limp had worsened. “Frankie woke up one morning and just couldn’t walk,” Kat explained. “He was really upset. He also had terrible conjunctivitis and couldn’t understand what was going on as he was only three.” It was already a stressful and busy time for Kat who had a six month old baby, Bobby to look after as well as Frankie and his older sister Kyiah. With local doctors unable to find answers, Kat eventually took Frankie to Alder Hey. “The nurses and doctors at Alder Hey were amazing and so reassuring. After many scans and tests he was eventually 10 Frankie’s story

“Now Frankie is just so full of energy. He can’t keep still; he loves to dance, does acting classes, jujitsu and plays football. There are still a few things he can’t do, like riding his bike but nothing seems to stop him.” “ The nurses and doctors at Alder Hey were amazing and so reassuring. KAT BOWEN, FRANKIE’S MUM “ diagnosed with Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis (JIA), a condition which affects 12,000 children in the UK under the age of 16. JIA is similar to arthritis in adults where inflammation inside the joints can lead to swelling, warmth and reduced movement.” Frankie was put on an IV drip and given various forms of medication to help with his conjunctivitis and his JIA. After just five days Kat could see an improvement. Frankie and Kat still visit Alder Hey for regular check-ups and to visit the Alder Hey Children’s Charity who they have been busy fundraising for as a way of giving something back to the hospital. They recently raised £1,200 at Oli’s Safari Walk where Frankie walked 3km, and a further £142 at his birthday party after he moonwalked to Michael Jackson’s Billie Jean, which proved very popular after it was posted on Twitter. Recently Frankie was made a Young Fundraising Ambassador for Alder Hey Children’s Charity; “When I found out Frankie was chosen to be an Ambassador, I cried because I was just so proud of him after what we have all been through. He melts my heart because he is my little angel.” “When he was first diagnosed we couldn’t even have much of a conversation with him because he was so tired, but after just a week or so he was sitting up and pretending he was Spiderman which was incredible and a massive relief because at one point I didn’t even know if he would be able to walk again.” Frankie was eventually up, walking and even dancing. He hasn’t let his condition get in the way of life since! Frankie’s story 11

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