You inspire us, rugby stars tell brave teen

Southend Standard: Seeing stars – Freddie Theobald with rugby aces Owen Farrell, left, and Ben Ransom Seeing stars – Freddie Theobald with rugby aces Owen Farrell, left, and Ben Ransom

TWO rugby heroes paid a special bedside visit to an inspirational teenager.

Freddie Theobald, 16, from Langdon Hills, spent time with England star and Saracens’ rugby fly-half Owen Farrell, and team-mate Ben Ransom, while undergoing hospital tests.

The teenager has been suffering from mystery seizures for 18 months, but doctors have been unable to discover if they are connected to his brain or heart.

In a bid to find out if he has epilepsy, Freddie underwent intensive tests at Great Ormond Street Hospital, London.

Owen and Ben paid a surprise visit to pledge support for a hospital charity race and meet youngsters who will benefit.

Freddie’s proud mum, Jane, said: “Freddie began having seizures in December 2012, and for the last year-and-a-half he has been undergoing loads of tests.

“He spent three days at Great Ormond Street while doctors tried to see if he was suffering from epilepsy, and he never would have expected to get up close with Saracens’ players.

“Freddie feels privileged to have been able to meet Owen and Ben.’’ The Royal Bank of Canada Race for the Kids, a 5k family fun run, will see thousands of supporters raise funds for essential redevelopment at the hospital.

Cramped and outdated wards will be replaced with state-ofthe- art facilities, and space provided for parents to stay with their children. Owen, 22, the son of rugby league legend Andy Farrell, said “It was really good to meet Freddie. His bravery and strength have really inspired me and I hope more people sign up to the RBC Race for the Kids to help this wonderful hospital.”

Ben, also 22, Saracens’ fullback who has represented England under-20s, said: “It was a privilege to meet such inspiring young people like Freddie.

“Despite facing tough challenges, his positive attitude was amazing.’’ The race takes place at Battersea Park on Sunday, June 8. For more information, or to sign up, visit www.race forthekids.co.uk

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