Brave Ben keeps on smiling

Plucky little Ben McMillan has never lost his smile despite more than 50 hospital appointments and operations in his four short years.Now the youngster, from Reydon, near Southwold, faces the most major of them all in London in the summer, when surgeons will try to straighten his face.

Plucky little Ben McMillan has never lost his smile despite more than 50 hospital appointments and operations in his four short years.

Now the youngster, from Reydon, near Southwold, faces the most major of them all in London in the summer, when surgeons will try to straighten his face. And help from a local charity means his family will be able to stay with him.

The Reydon Trust has just donated £500 to enable them to go to Great Ormond Street Hospital for the latest surgery on his skull - and it brought a heartfelt thank-you from them.

Ben, who weighs under two stone and suffers from cranial stenosis, speed delay and short stature, has had many hospital appointments since his birth, which has drained the limited funds of his mother Donna and her parents.


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“But the Reydon Trust has been so supportive to my daughter. It is a boost to us all that someone else cares about Ben's welfare,” said his grandmother, Doreen McMillan, at their home in Hurn Crag Road, Reydon. “The money has taken all the financial worry out of the forthcoming operation and will allow Donna and us to concentrate on looking after him.”

Ben was born prematurely, and since then, as well as operations on his skull, he has had hernias repaired, an operation on his ears, hormone treatment and many CT scans.

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But he goes to the Reydon Rascals Pre-School and Donna said he should be able to start mainstream school when he is five.

The operation he now faces, on June 30, will try to straighten his features. He will be in hospital at least a week, and the Reydon Trust donation means his family will be able to stay there with him.

“The operation will make his face more normal, and the aim is to make him grow normally,” said his 27-year-old mother, who is separated from Ben's father.

“Throughout all the treatment he never loses his smile.”

And his grandmother added: “He is one special little boy.”

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