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Cerebral palsy sufferer, who learned to use talking device, dies aged 17
A mum has paid tribute to her “beautiful” son, who has died aged just 17.
Dominic Feely had cerebral palsy, which affected all four of his limbs and left him unable to speak – but despite his condition he continually surprised his family with his achievements, his mum Clair Drake told the Telegraph & Argus.
He was recognised for his progress in using a device which enabled him to talk, when he was given the outstanding achievement school award for the 11 to 25-year-old age category at the inaugural Bradford Council Young Citizen Awards in 2007.
“Dominic was very unique,” said Mrs Drake.
“You never knew what he could achieve. When you’d think he wouldn’t be able to do something, he would end up proving you wrong by being able to do it, like the speech – there’s so many things.
“He had an enormous personality and a very wicked sense of humour. It wasn’t often he was unhappy, even when he was ill, he’d do anything to push things forward.
“When you’d think things were going to go from bad to worse, he’d get to worse, but all of a sudden get back to how he was. You’d meet him once and never forget his smile, he was kind and considerate – he was just beautiful.”
She said Dominic was a sociable teenager whose siblings Jamie, Leigh-Ann, Brooke, Mia and Jo, “loved him to bits”. She said: “He liked going to the pub and being around family and friends. Every time there was a family get-together he just loved being around people.”
Dominic, of Milligan Avenue, near Wrose, was a Leeds United fan and enjoyed a visit by the team when he was in hospital. An avid Emmerdale fan he was also visited by Chris Chittell, who plays Eric Pollard in the soap, Mrs Drake said.
The teenager, a former pupil at Lister Lane School and then Bradford Academy, was cared for at Martin House children’s hospice for a period last year. Mrs Drake said its staff were “fantastic”, and has asked friends to make donations to the charity in Dominic’s memory.