Driving test success gives Dereham teen the keys to freedom
- Credit: IAN BURT
A teenager who suffers from a form of dwarfism has been given the keys to freedom after passing his driving test at the first time of asking.
Daniel Gotts, who has a form of dwarfism called achondroplasia, had been craving independence but was hindered after a change in laws meant he could not get the funding he needed to buy a specially adapted car.
Living in Whinburgh, near Dereham, it meant he had to rely on his parents to ferry him about.
Together with parents, Chris and Susan, he made a public appeal for support through the Eastern Daily Press and our sister paper, the Dereham Times.
Readers came to his aid and Daniel was able to have special adaptations made to a car, including a raised footwell, extended pedals, cushions to support his spine and neck as well as a boot strap.
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And on Monday, Daniel passed his test first time.
The 18-year-old, who volunteers at Cats Protection in Longham, said he felt 'relieved' to pass.
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'I don't have to go by what my mum and dad say now,' he said.
'I wanted to pass for myself. I wanted to be free and wanted to do what I wanted without having to rely on my mum or dad doing everything for me. It will open up job opportunities for me too.'
Daniel, who started to learn to drive in October, received £4,611 in donations to get him on the road.
He said: 'It wouldn't have happened without the support I got.
'It's almost unimaginable how appreciative I am.'
Daniel's mum, who works as a negotiator for an estate agent, said: 'We are over the moon for Daniel.
'He has worked so hard to achieve passing his driving test first time and it will change his life completely now he is more independent.
'We would like to say a big thank you to the general public as without them this wouldn't have been achieved so quickly.'
Are you helping to support young people in need of a helping hand? Email firstname.lastname@example.org