Gong for couple inspired by son

Phil and Emma McDonald with sons Louie, 5, and Freddie, 3, (right).
Phil and Emma McDonald with sons Louie, 5, and Freddie, 3, (right).
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A couple who have been inspired by their son to raise more than £65,000 for charity have been named Points of Light by the Prime Minister.

When Emma and Phil McDonald’s son Freddie was diagnosed with chronic liver disease at just 24 weeks old they realised they could not do anything to make his illness go away, but they could help other families facing similar diagnoses.

Three years later, the couple have supported Freddie, three, through extensive treatment including a liver transplant and open heart surgery at Leeds General Infirmary, and raised thousands of pounds for the Children’s Liver Disease Foundation. They are the latest recipients the Points of Light award, which recognises outstanding individual volunteers, people who are making a change in their community and inspiring others.

Prime Minister David Cameron said: “Phil and Emma have worked tirelessly to help very sick children like their son Freddie. The money and awareness they have raised for the Children’s Liver Disease Foundation will make a huge difference in the lives of children fighting liver disease. They have inspired a fantastic number of people to support them and I am delighted to recognise their service by making them both UK Points of Light.”

The couple, from Ossett, Wakefield, are committed to raising awareness of chronic liver disease and the importance of organ donation.

Emma and Phil said: “We accept this on behalf of everyone who has been part of #TeamFreddie and help fundraise or donated to the Children’s Liver Disease Foundation in Freddie’s name over the past three years. It really has been a team effort and we are grateful for everyone’s generosity and kindness. Thank You.”

Emma added: “Freddie is doing amazingly. His recovery has surprised everyone. We are incredibly proud of how both our boys have coped throughout Freddie’s illness.”