A BRAVE young boy is to turn on the Christmas lights in a Herefordshire town later this month.

Alfie McDonald will be performing the duties in Ross-on-Wye on Sunday, November 26.

Last March, the two-year-old suffered a prolonged seizure which caused damage to the left-hand side of his brain. This was as a result of a gene mutation which he was born with.

Only one in 13 people in the UK are registered with the gene, and one in 189 in the world.


Alfie has right-sided hemiplegia and hypertonia, which means his right limbs, body trunk and postural muscles were all initially affected. He has also lost peripheral vision in both eyes.

After nine weeks in hospital and a further 12 weeks at The Children’s Trust for rehabilitation, Alfie is back home and has regained full neck control, sitting balance, weaned back onto normal diet and fluids and has learnt to adapt to turn his head to see things more clearly. He has also started to crawl, and his speech has developed hugely.

Hereford Times: Alfie McDonald with his parents Courtney and LannockAlfie McDonald with his parents Courtney and Lannock (Image: Ross Town Council)

Alfie’s mum, Courtney, said: “We have a strong, resilient, brave little boy who will no doubt fight off any hurdles he may or may not come to in life.

“My partner and I are both completely over the moon that Alfie has been picked to switch on the Ross Christmas lights. We really were not expecting this, but it is a wonderful gesture, and it is so heart-warming that people are cheering on our boy and felt that he deserved to switch on the lights.”

There will be a range of activities taking place between 11am and 5pm on the day, with the lights being switched on at 4.30pm.