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Family's 'lifeline' car is written off

PUBLISHED: 13:24 25 April 2008 | UPDATED: 20:14 05 July 2010

CAR BLOW: Glenn and Fiona Nudd with their children Keelan and Finn.

CAR BLOW: Glenn and Fiona Nudd with their children Keelan and Finn.

THE family of a brave Lowestoft youngster, who has had to endure more than 60 different hospital admissions, have suffered more heartache after their car was written off.

THE family of a brave Lowestoft youngster, who has had to endure more than 60 different hospital admissions, have suffered more heartache after their car was written off.

The vehicle, which has been dubbed as a “lifeline” for nine-year-old Keelan Nudd, was stolen and trashed by a joyrider over the drink-drive limit last month.

But a month on, and as two teenagers await sentencing for their part in the crash, Keelan's parents Glenn, 42, and Fiona, 40, spoke of their “anger” as the main mode of transport for their disabled son was damaged and they've been left to pick up the pieces.

“We need a car that's reliable to get Keelan to school and to take him to hospital - it is our lifeline - but now it's totally trashed,” Mrs Nudd said. “Our life can be very difficult with our son but this has just put more pressure on us as it has left us struggling to get him around.”

With Keelan suffering from a very rare condition called Dravet's Syndrome, which gives him severe seizures and developmental delay, he has to be constantly cared for.

“It's a life-threatening illness that has seen a lot of children die in their sleep,” Mrs Nudd explained.

With the threat of fitting in his sleep looming over the family, the youngster has to be watched 24 hours a day.

The family's lives were turned upside down in the early hours of March 29 - as the Toyota Rav 4 car that was parked on their driveway in Carlton Colville was stolen. The car they use to transport Keelan around with his wheelchair and buggy was found by police, and had to be craned out of a stream running alongside Lowestoft's Southern Relief Road.

Two teenagers could face custody after they took the car, but lost control as it careered into the ditch.

Robert Willgoss and Oliver Bowles, both 19, pleaded guilty to two charges of taking vehicles without consent, attempted theft and criminal damage at Lowestoft Magistrates' Court last week.

Willgoss, of Monarch Way, Carlton Colville, also admitted drink-driving and driving without a licence and insurance. Both he and Bowles, previously of Thornycroft Gardens, Carlton Colville, are due to appear before magistrates again on May 7.

The vehicle has been classed as a write-off after the front wheel was obliterated in the crash that left the front end in tatters. But because the teenagers found an ignition key in the ashtray, the insurance company are refusing to pay out - and this has left the Nudd's reliant on the help of friends, family and supportive locals.

“There are a lot of nice people out there, but all the problems we've had add up financially,” Mrs Nudd said. “I would just like to thank the person who reported the crash in the first place - the police would not have caught these youngsters otherwise.”

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