A brave local boy, who has battled serious illness, is to bring a little Christmas to Ross this month when he switches on the town’s festive lights.

After numerous nominations, Ross-on-Wye Town Council announced this week that two-year-old boy, Alfie McDonald, will be turning on the town’s Christmas Lights at the Christmas Fayre on Sunday, November 26.

“We received several nominations for Alfie and we were moved by his story and bravery. The decision was made by the Christmas Fayre committee and REHAU the sponsors of this year’s lights switch on,” said a town council spokesman.

On March 6 this year Alfie suffered a prolonged seizure which caused damage to the left hand side of his brain, which was caused by a gene mutation he was born with -  a gene that only 1 of 13 people are registered with in the UK, and 1 of 189 people worldwide. 

Alfie has right sided Hemiplegia and Hypertonia, which means his right limbs, body trunk, 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 rehab Alfie is back home and has regained full neck control, sitting balance, weaned back onto normal diet/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.

Alfie’s mum, Courtney, said: “We have a strong, resilient, brave little boy who will no doubt fight off any hurdles he may/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 heartwarming that people are cheering on our boy and felt that he deserved to switch on the lights.”

Ross-on-Wye Christmas Fayre and Lights Switch on takes place on Sunday, November 26 in Ross town centre from 11am – 5pm, with the switch on at 4.30pm. 

Ross-on-Wye Town Council would like to offer a  huge thank you to its sponsors REHAU, Fibre Heroes and Harrison Clarke Rickerbys Ltd.