This is the touching moment a grieving familydonated thousands of pounds to a campaign to help a brave four-year-old realise his dream of walking unaided.
The family of Stephen Campbell, 38, who died last month from injuries he suffered in a jet skiing incident in Thailand, handed over £14,000 to the Joe’s Dream to Walk fund.
Joe Knowles, from Bispham, has cerebral palsy and is unable to walk without help.
His family aim to raise £38,000 to fund an operation in Leeds, which would prevent the stiffness that keeps him from walking without support, and give him the chance to walk in to school on his first day in September.
The money was raised by the family and friends of Mr Campbell, a barber from Talbot Road, Layton, when it was initially thought his insurance company would not cover jet skiing incidents in his policy, and £30,000 would have to be raised to bring his body home.
However, when the insurance company announced they would pay out, the Campbell family decided to donate what they had already raised to the Knowles.
Mum Sue Knowles said: “To get a donation like this is amazing because it takes a lot of stress off us.
“We have been raising money for four months and it has been a full time job.
“It’s bitter sweet because of the circumstances but we are forever grateful to the family and we are hoping to stay friends.
“Seeing Joe walking is something I never thought I’d see happen, so raising this money in such a short space of time and seeing him walk into school will be the best outcome imaginable.”
Mr Campbell’s family says Joe’s campaign is a fitting legacy for him. Dad Peter Campbell, 66, said: “Stephen loved children and it was one of his big regrets that he never married or had children of his own. “When it was suggested we donate to this cause we were delighted to help.” Catherine Campbell-Ward, Stephen’s sister, added: “We see Joe as a legacy to Stephen and that’s a massive comfort.” The family also donated £1,500 to the Ben Harrington Repatriation Charity, which helps families repatriate loved ones.