Rhys Williams, a young boy from Bolton, UK, is going through a difficult time.
He was born with epidermolysis bullosa, a condition that triggers painful skin blisters and sores over his body. It has not only caused his fingers to fuse together, but the slightest knock can result in open wounds and blisters to his skin and internal tissue.
Rhys, 13, gets around in a wheelchair and has to have his bandages changed three times a day to prevent infection. He is fed through a tube – solids could result in his gullet blistering – and lives with chronic pain.
In fact, things got so bad that he reportedly told his mom, Tanya, he’d had enough of life.
According to Tanya, Rhys smiles now: “He loves it, he is so happy, it restores your trust in humanity.
On September 21st, before his 14th birthday, Tanya issued a plea for birthday cards. She wanted her son to know he was not alone, that people cared for him and wished him well.
The response was more than she could have anticipated.
When Tanya realized just how down and low her son was feeling, she sent out an appeal for cards for his 14th birthday.
In a few days, however, more than 10,000 cards, parcels, and online messages had come pouring in.
“I’ve had thousands of messages on Facebook, I try and answer each one. It’s fab.
“All the cards are just as nice and kind as the next. His favorite present so far has got to be his gaming headphones and Xbox game from someone in LA.
“He has just had a card from the Doctor Who production, he’s had cards from football clubs, supermarkets…”
“We have received about 7,000 cards just today (Saturday). We got three-and-a-half thousand on Friday. I can only just see my living room floor,” she continued.
“He is opening each card and reading it, and he’s got his friend opening them too. He is taking his time with each one which is why it is taking so long.”
Defying the odds
Little Rhys has been defying the odds since birth. When he was born, there was no guarantee that he would even reach his teens.
Unfortunately, there is no known cure for his condition. Instead, the emphasis is placed on pain relief,
Tanya said: “It’s gone worldwide. He’s been on the telly in Chile. He got a card from Qatar today and loads from America. It’s just gone everywhere.
“I just want to say thank you. That’s all I can really say at the moment, I’m so overwhelmed by it all.”
You, too, can send a birthday card to Rhys. Banter Card Shops will print one free of charge! You need only pay to ship.
Happy Birthday Rhys Williams! We hope it’s one to remember!