THIS is the story of an unlikely bond between a disabled toddler and a retired great grandfather formed out of a chance encounter at this year’s Tocal Field Days.
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Three-and-a-half-year-old twin Carter Goodwin has cerebral palsy quadriplegia hypertonic spasticity. Bill Taylor is a 70-year-old volunteer firefighter and former paramedic, motorcycle cop, Air Force member and Army reservist.
While both reside in Medowie, the pair had never met before the Goodwins decided to take the family to the popular field day at Tocal in May.
“I was manning the Medowie rural fire brigade stall when Carter – along with mum and dad Sam and Alex, twin Milla and older brother Hudson – came along and I immediately noticed his attraction to a replica model of a fire truck I had constructed years before,” Mr Taylor, who has survived bowel cancer and stroke, recalled.
“Carter just loved the truck so after a while I asked for permission from his parents to build something similar as a gift.
“They approved and I got to work, spending six hours each day for the next week building a model replica Tiger Moth aircraft, based on the training prototypes used during World War Two.
“I have grandchildren and great grandchildren of my own and had over 35 years’ experience working with disabled children, but no child had affected the way Carter did.
“He just broke my heart and the way his eyes lit up the day I presented him with the model plane was something else.
“I received the biggest hugs and kisses.”
For the Goodwin family, the unexpected gift has become one of Carter’s prized possessions.
“We are so grateful for not only the gift but the strong bond that has developed between Bill and Carter,” mum Sam Goodwin said.
“The structure is big enough for Carter to sit in and it is most appropriate for his needs.”
It also allows Carter to forget about the daily grind of physio sessions and strenuous hospital visits.
The Goodwins said they are constantly amazed by the generosity and goodwill of family, friends and strangers from the Medowie community, who continue to support Carter’s needs.
They have set up a facebook page, called Carter’s Crew, to share their journey and hopefully educate and inspire others.
By Charlie ELIAS