The Incredible Tommie

Tommie Thornton

Kildare Services, age 11

Tommie was diagnosed at age two and a half with duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) and it was then that we first came into contact with Enable Ireland. In the early years, Tommie had very limited speech and we got unbelievable support from Enable Ireland for his speech and language development. He started going to Enable Ireland’s pre-school ‘Talking Tigers’ and his speech came on hugely. Over the years, he’s made great friends there with other children and his social skills have developed hugely through the group activities – like the cooking skills and disability awareness.

From early on Tommie has always loved going for his therapy sessions and the groups in Enable Ireland. He’s really positive about everyone he meets there. Enable Ireland has been a lifeline to my family over the years.

Tommie has a progressive form of muscular dystrophy (MD) which means his muscles will get weaker as he gets older. At the moment, we get a lot of occupational therapy and physiotherapy as Tommie tries to keep his independence and continue doing all the usual day to day tasks. For example, Tommie has a stability dog called Flanaghan. Flanaghan goes everywhere with Tommie! He helps Tommie to walk for longer, so it’s a part of his physical therapy, to keep him walking and using his muscles. 

Tommie is 11 now and like most boys his age he’s into Lego, we call him a masterbuilder. His other passion at the moment is his hair. He’s very quick to instruct the barber himself on exactly how he wants it cut – much to the amusement of the other customers! He is full of the joys of life, really fun and a laugh a minute! He doesn’t let MD get in his way and he is certainly not defined by it. He has so much get up and go. 

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