ALL WILLIAMS / STUFF
Thomas Morrison tries out his new wheelchair on Auckland Kohimarama Beach.
The ten-year-old Thomas Morrison loves the water, but at last there has been no alternative to going to the beach.
Thomas has a rare form of muscular dystrophy – a group of diseases that cause progressive weakness and loss of muscle mass – and uses a wheelchair that causes you to get into and out of the water a fight.
But the purchase of a new wheelchair wheelchair will cause the Auckland boy to come back to his "happy place" and spend quality time with his family on the beach this summer, said mother Louise Morrison.
When he was younger, Morrison and her husband Michael could carry Thomas from his chair across the sand and into the water.
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But when he has grown older it becomes more difficult.
They have also tried to drag Thomas along the beach in a trike, but the wheels got stuck in the sand.
"It has been very difficult to get him in and out of the water … we have not been able to do it as a family."
Earlier this year Thomas went to school at the camp to Long Bay, who happened to have a pair of old wheelchairs on the beach.
He spent all day in the water, said Morrison.
In essence, a beach chair on hard plastic, air-filled wheels, the beach-access chair that they bought has easy rolling over soft sand and clay.
Thomas can sit in the chair in the water and can "ride the waves". It can also be used to get in and out of swimming pools.
"It opens a whole new world for us," said Morrison.
"The sea is his happy place and his little brother is so excited to spend time with him in the water."
Because of his condition, Thomas is "deeply weak". He has very low muscle tone and low bone density throughout the body, "said Morrison.
Not only would the wheelchair enable him to do something he loves, it was also a good physical exercise because it keeps his muscles and body moving, she said.
"It's really important to keep him moving, it's very good for him.
"If you do not use your muscles, you will lose them."
The St Heliers family received $ 5730 from the Mazda Foundation for the chair. It was broadcast from Hamilton, arriving on Wednesday.