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Lovely to meet Chief Constable Watson of Greater Manchester Police

Police Sergeant David Fenton met with Chief Constable Stephen Watson to talk about the charity he has set up in his son’s name.

David has worked for GMP for 21 years and is based at the City of Manchester Division in the Criminal Justice Unit. His wife, Jane, also worked for GMP for over 17 years as a HR Manager. His story began when their son William was born in 2013 with a very rare disease, Total Intestinal Aganglionosis, which affected his entire bowel. In order for him to survive, he was ‘fed’ intravenously.
William William spent the first year of his life in hospital before being cared for at home by his family. This is when Jane left GMP to become William’s full-time carer.
David explains that: “William was surprising everyone, he was so very bright and he was accepted to main stream school albeit with a one to one medical practitioner by his side throughout the school day.
“He was the happiest most beautiful little boy in the world. He didn’t care about the things he couldn’t do but embraced all the things he could do.
“He couldn’t eat or drink anything other than for taste as nutritionally it offered him nothing. However, he loved sucking on ice and eating soft crisp and ice lollies. He also managed to be weaned off his feeding tube for up to 8 hours a day.
“He was even strong enough to be put on the transplant list for a new bowel, liver, pancreas and stomach but sadly his call never came.
“In October 2019, William suddenly fell violently ill and was transferred to Intensive care. He fought so bravely for around 7 weeks but he just couldn’t turn the corner. He passed away on 11 December 2019, aged 6.
“Our world was turned upside down but we had to carry on for our daughter. In the months following we knew we needed to do something to keep William’s memory alive and to give him a legacy. We worked tirelessly and set up a charity. We called the charity ‘William’s Gift’ and we quickly gained registration status via the charity commission.
“William was our inspiration behind creating the charity. We spent many months in hospital and know how lonely and depressing it can be. The idea to provide care packages to children and their families in hospital was born out of our own experiences.
“William was known for his beautiful smile and this charity aims to cheer up other children in hospital with a ‘little box of smiles’. So far the charity has helped over 10,000 children and their families and has recently come runner up for charity of the year in the North West area.
“I am grateful to be able to meet with Ch. Con. Watson to discuss the charity and the work we do. GMP have supported me through this difficult time and enabled me to be grow the charity.
Chief Constable Stephen Watson comments that: “It was very moving to hear about David and his family’s journey. The charity they have created has helped ease the stress for other people in a similar situation.
“I wish them the very best for the success of their charity”