Stevie's new world of lights

AN Ipswich family today paid a heartfelt thank you to dozens of fundraisers who helped illuminate the life of their visually impaired toddler.

AN Ipswich family today paid a heartfelt thank you to dozens of fundraisers who helped illuminate the life of their visually impaired toddler.

The smile on little Stevie Farrow's face is enough to tell his proud parents Stephanie and Mark that the room built with £6,000 raised by generous people in the area has changed his life.

Thanks to those funds the two-year-old battler now has a room in his house that transforms his world of darkness to a wonderland of ultra violet (UV) and fibre optic lights.

Mrs Farrow said: “He loves it. Thanks to the lights we now know yellow is his favourite colour.”

The Star reported on Stevie's battle in December 2005. He was left almost completely blinded by a coloboma, a rare eye condition resulting from his eye not developing properly while he was in the womb.

He is completely blind in his left eye but his right eye is able to identify bright lights, particularly fibre optic and UV lights.

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So Mr and Mrs Farrow embarked on a fundraising drive to raise the money necessary to create a sensory room in his house similar to one which had helped his development during fortnightly sessions at Thomas Wolsey School in Norwich Road, Ipswich.

Star readers donated cash and staff from several companies, including Mr Farrow's employers Churchill Insurance, organised fundraisers so the room could be built.

Friends pitched in to partition off parts of the kitchen in the Farrow's Mumford Road home to create “Stevie's room”.

Now, for about 40 minutes every day, Stevie can play amongst fibre optic lights while a special projector displays pictures of animals on the walls and a bubble tube creates a fantastic light show of his own.

Mrs Farrow, 26, said: “Since we've had the room he's just come on leaps and bounds.

“If he didn't have this every day he wouldn't have come on as he has. His speech has come on, he's walking around and he is running. People can't believe how he's coming on.”

Mr Farrow, 40, a motor insurance claims adviser, said: “We'd like to thank everyone. The lights are brilliant and he's doing new things every day.”

But the family's battle is not over yet. They now face the task of raising around £10,000 over the next three years to pay for more specialised equipment which will help Stevie develop, such as a Braille printer and a computer.

Has someone helped to change your world? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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