Keiran off to Hungary

Lisa McGeechan, duty manager at the Broadwood Restaurant, and manager Grant Russell with Ann Marie Johnstone  and Kieran
Lisa McGeechan, duty manager at the Broadwood Restaurant, and manager Grant Russell with Ann Marie Johnstone and Kieran

A CUMBERNAULD boy will be spending a whopping eight weeks at a groundbreaking centre in Hungary this year – in a move which promises to change his life.

Little Keiran Johnstone (11) from Craigmarloch has cerebral palsy and uses a wheelchair – but will be leaving this behind when he arrives at the Peto Institute in Budapest.

Last year he attended its summer school and will do so again, thanks in part to a high-level decision made by social work bosses who have agreed to make a contribution for further visits

Consequently 2012 will see him make three more trips to participate in the likes of hydrotherapy and other aspects of so-called Conductive Education – which is practised locally at the Craighalbert Centre.

Keiran is a one-time pupil of the centre but is now too old to attend and is now taught at Stanmore House in Lanark, which is run by Capability Scotland.

Mother Ann Marie is not merely Keiran’s full-time carer, she has been his staunchest champion in her battle to secure him the specialist care he needs.

Her ultimate goal is to see her son develop the skills which will enable him to live independently – and without a wheelchair.

Ann Marie said: “This is fantastic news. The summer school was great for Keiran but to hear that he will be able to go back there for these extra visits is just fantastic.

“It’s something which makes such a big difference to his life and everyone can see the improvements that the treatment is making,” she added.

NLC’s community social work manager Jane Johnstone said: “We have worked with Mrs Johnstone to help meet Keiran’s needs and we will continue to support the family as Keiran gets older.”

Meanwhile locals have shown their trademark generosity in helping Kieran after a charity night at a local restaurant - when patrons of Broadwood Farm rallied round before Christmas at a special ladies’ night.

This included appearances from top psychics and a giant raffle with generous prizes donated by the Westerwood Hotel, Celtic Football Club and the restaurant itself.

Duty manager Lisa McGeechan said: “Broadwood Farm sees itself as being at the heart of the community. We will be doing other events in the near future for local charity and organisations like Help for Heroes and Sports Relief. “

She added: “We would like to thank all the people who came to the night and help  us raise the money for Keiran.”