26 August 2009

Tom’s standing ovation for his video

A TEENAGE cerebral palsy sufferer has received a standing ovation after unveiling a self-produced video documenting his own life-threatening spinal surgery.

Tom Williams pitched Rebuilding Thomas to medical experts at the Custard Factory, in Birmingham, on Friday.

The 18-year-old sold 80 copies to a metal spine manufacturer and hopes to hear back from NHS trusts and charities in the coming weeks.

Tom (pictured) said he would now take a well-earned rest after a “whirlwind” week, during which he also discovered he had passed his A-levels.

The Newborough resident said: “It’s been a crazy week but I’m absolutely delighted to have got into Bradford University, where I’ll study to be a film producer, and to have got a standing ovation on Friday.

“I managed to change the views of those who thought the documentary would be too depressing and hope it goes on to be a success.

“I’m now going to take a year out to go to independence college, then on to uni, but I’ll always reflect on this and feel proud of what I’ve achieved.” Tom underwent a 12-hour operation to straighten his spine last year, filming his experiences before, during and after surgery.

He funded the film’s production with his disability benefits and now hopes NHS trusts around the UK will buy it to help parents, patients and doctors cope with similar operations.

During his year out, Tom will take up a new role as national advisor for the Scoliosis Society.

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