A little boy with a life limiting illness is the star of a new book aimed at giving children a better understanding of disability.
David McCarter, nine, a parishioner of Christ Church, Lisburn, is the inspiration behind David and his Wheels go to the Park, written by his mother Heather.
Illustrated by Gemma Ramsden, the book was launched on December 14 at Ceara Special School in Lurgan, where David is a pupil.
Heather, a classroom assistant, wrote David and His Wheels three years ago. She admitted she never thought she would see her book published. “This is a very special day for David, his dad Gary and myself,” she said.
“It was written for children at school to help them better understand how David is and to make them feel that they can come up and speak to David when they see him.
“I hope to get the book into schools, because in mainstream schools there are children like David and his friends who are being bullied because children just don’t understand.”
Heather paid tribute to her ‘brave little boy’ who she describes as her inspiration and her life. “He is the reason this book came about in the first place,” she said.
David was born on December 9 1998 with Cerebral Palsy and Epilepsy. Doctor’s did not expect him to live more than a year. “We know that David is life limited but through this book he will be remembered forever,” Heather said.
“I would like to write a series of books so David can go on adventures here, there and everywhere to show other children that David can do anything, he just needs his wheelchair and a little help.”
Damien Wilson, Group Editor of Johnston Publishing (NI), publishers of David and his Wheels, told guests at the launch: “When I first met David I thought how could I cope? But once I got to know the family I realised they did more than cope, they have a very full life as a family, and this book is just a wee glimpse into that life.”
The Rev Paul Dundas, rector of Christ Church, Lisburn, said David was a well-known face in the parish where his father is involved in the Lads’ Brigade. “A year ago the Lads’ Brigade presented some money towards David’s wheelchair. On that day there was not a dry eye in the church when Heather spoke on behalf of David. He is very much loved,” Mr Dundas said.
Heather, 42, said she had always aspired to be a published writer. “It is absolutely amazing to see your name in print in a bookshop!” she said.
David and his Wheels go to the Park is available from Easons and other bookshops priced £5.99.