Foundation helps Dan to stroke his fish

When nature-loving teenager Dan Woodhead was told he could have one wish come true – he asked to feed his fish... by hand.

The wheelchair-bound 16-year-old, from Bolton-upon-Dearne, has such severe cerebral palsy that he cannot reach down into the family’s garden pond.

And he is too frightened to stroke his pets, in case he hurts them with the extra movements necessary.

But when the Starlight Children’s Foundation told Dan they would grant him any wish, he replied through his electronic talker: “hand, water, fish, please”.

The teenager had always loved touching water but had to watch his dad give the fish their food.

Now Dan can feed them himself after the children’s charity sent in a team of gardeners from Chesterfield-based store, Dobbies Garden World, to raise the pond by a couple of feet.

The helpful crew even added some water features to make his pond more exciting.

Dan’s mum, Gill, who described her son as “a very pleasant young man, who likes to socialise”, said: “The pond is just brilliant and Dan is out there every day with his fish.

“The team from Dobbies were simply fantastic and they went out of their way to make sure that it was the best pond ever for Dan.

“I can’t thank them, and Starlight, enough.”

Dan was diagnosed with the condition, which affects his movement, shortly after birth and he now requires two carers with him at all times.