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Mum's joy as brave son conquers Perthes Disease.

THE story about Keaton Turnbull's comeback from Perthes Disease was in the Gazette yesterday.

The way he feels about the game and how it inspired him to fight back really highlights the spirit of the game youngsters love.

Here, exclusively for Grass Roots, Keaton's mum Erika Kelly tells more of the full inspiring story.

"We received the news not long after Keaton had returned from hospital, it was Perthes Disease," she said.

"On holding an emergency meeting with the consultant it was agreed Keaton would enjoy his Christmas at home and his op would be scheduled for early January. "The day of Keaton's op was the longest day of my life.

"He was in theatre for four-and-a-half hours and then placed back on the ward to recover.

"It was a tough five days for him, he was in a lot of pain from the casts, but visitors, cards, gifts and even a sneaky McDonald's from Uncle Lee made it bearable.

"Soon Keaton was back home and in the comfort of his own bed, although we had to place it downstairs in the front room for easier access.

"Keaton had to miss four months of school, but he received a get well card from all his classmates which put a big smile on his face and had FIFA on the Playstation to keep him company.

"Family support was second to none and his team at Whinney Banks sent us tickets to watch a Liverpool game.

"Once Keaton's casts came off you could see his face light up and all he wanted to do was get back to playing football, but he was dealt a further blow when he was told he was to put no weight on his legs.

"Football would have to wait, but I would walk him up to Sandy Flatts in his wheelchair every weekend to cheer his team on from the sidelines.

"The road to recovery was hard for such an active boy, who before the operation had played five times a week, but our football fix, watching Whinney Banks on a weekend made it that little bit easier.

"For two years Keaton watched football from his wheelchair, he endured rehabilitation and all he wanted to do was get back on the pitch.

"So, when the news finally arrived that he'd conquered Perthes and was given the green light to resume playing again, he was in orbit.

"His first game back was definitely an emotional one and we made him a T-shirt that said 'I'm back' just in case he scored.

"Keaton's smile was back and he was just so grateful to be back on the pitch doing what he loves.

"We hoped he would just get through the game, we expected him to be a little rusty but when that moment came... wow."

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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)
Date:Mar 8, 2014
Words:473
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