Amputee toddler’s Blackpool Pleasure Beach treat spoiled

CJ was not allowed on some of the rides at Blackpool Pleasure Beach.

CJ was not allowed on some of the rides at Blackpool Pleasure Beach.

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A birthday treat to Blackpool Pleasure Beach for a disabled toddler was ruined after the one-year-old wasn’t allowed access to some of the rides.

Connor Jameson Donaghey – known as CJ – was born last June with one leg three-quarters of the size of the other.

CJ with his mum Keeley Foxton before his leg was amputated.

CJ with his mum Keeley Foxton before his leg was amputated.

He was diagnosed with a condition known as fibular hemimelia, where the leg is missing the fibula bone.

His left leg has since been amputated and CJ wears a prosthetic limb.

CJ was taken to the amusement park by his mum Keeley Foxton and dad Connor Donaghey, who live in Bowland Road, Heysham, and CJ’s grandmother Tracy Donaghey.

Tracy said: “We rang up on the way there to see how much it would be and we mentioned CJ’s age and they asked if he could walk unaided.

“I said he had had his leg amputated and that his prosthetic leg is only temporary because he is only little and they said it was OK.

“When we got there we went to buy the tickets and the staff spent about 20 minutes discussing CJ. I was disgusted.

“They eventually said he had to be able to walk unaided and gave us a covering letter to take to the rides.”
CJ went on a few rides after his family showed the ride operators their letter, but when they reached the park’s Alice in Wonderland ride he was refused entry.

Tracy said: “We spent most of the day arguing to get CJ on the rides. This was a late birthday present for him and the day was spoilt.

“It’s not just him, there are other children it could happen to. They need to change their policies.

“They have now said sorry and have offered us a free day out there but it’s not about the money.”

A Blackpool Pleasure Beach spokesman said: “The family was advised which rides CJ could go on. I believe they were questioned on a few rides about CJ whicyh is our normal procedure.

“There isn’t a ‘one size fits all’ policy so they may have been asked questions. We have to make sure procedures are followed.

“On certain rides we need children to be able to walk unaided in case of a ride evacuation.

“But we view everything on an individual basis. Any questions were to establish that the health and safety needs were met.

“The family’s safety was our main priority.

“We want everyone to come and have a wonderful day and if they don’t then we like to make amends, so we have invited them back as our guests.

“We really do hope they will take us up on this.”