I?ve never been in a town that was so generous



WITH a series of hand signals, Sharon Montague-Elliot will change her son's life forever today.

In sign language she will tell six-year-old Matthew, who was born with cerebral palsy, how Central Queenslanders opened their hearts and wallets to buy him a new wheelchair and bed.

Matthew, a Rockhampton Special School student, will arrive home from camp unaware that yesterday his mother was reduced to tears as donations flowed in after The Morning Bulletin told Matthew's story.

Matthew desperately needed a replacement specialised wheelchair which, at $2500 second hand, Ms Montague- Elliot, a single mother of four boys aged one to 12, could not afford.

Yesterday Rose Wehmeier, office manager at Alline Roof- ing Systems, offered a cheque for $2500.

"We don't really want any publicity, we were happy to do it to help,'' Mrs Wehmeier said.

Another person, who wished only to be identified as "a good Christian'', matched Mrs Wehmeier's offer.

An overwhelmed Ms Montague-Elliot said she had received at least 14 phone calls from people offering to help.

"I was in tears,'' she said.

"I've never been in a town that was so generous and supportive of children in need.''

The Morning Bulletin also received offers of help from Lions clubs in Rockhampton and Yeppoon, Dowies Buses and Harcourts Real Estate.

Cerebral palsy is a condition which affects the way the brain controls the body's muscles.

It results in difficulties in movement and posture, something which is further complicated for Matthew by a hip problem.

Ms Montague-Elliot yesterday thanked the community and said she would put all the donations towards Matthew.

She would price a new wheelchair and hopefully have enough left over to buy him a new bed to replace the steel-framed cot he sleeps in.



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