Golden girl Jessica-Jane shows she also has a heart of gold with generous gift

Ethan Roderick with Jessica-Jane Applegate, his mother Michelle and councillor Shirley Weymouth. Jes

Ethan Roderick with Jessica-Jane Applegate, his mother Michelle and councillor Shirley Weymouth. Jessica-Jane has replaced a signed cuddly toy - Ethan's favourite - that was lost in a house fire. - Credit: Archant

Stood next to her golden post box Jessica-Jane Applegate proved that she really delivers.

For as she bids for Paralympic glory in Rio the swimmer took time out to cheer a Bradwell boy whose treasured toy, signed by his swimming idol Jess, was lost in a house fire. Ethan Roderick, now aged ten, won the official 2012 elephant at a swimability gala four years ago. But when the whole downstairs of the family home in Gablehurst Court was gutted in January, Trunks was lost.

His mother Mechelle, 41, said: 'Ethan found it quite difficult because a lot of his things were destroyed so it is lovely it has been replaced.'

Ethan suffers from a rare syndrome that means he has some muscles missing, and swims for Great Yarmouth and Waveney Special Olympians.

He is also a singer in the Statements Choir, supported by Shirley Weymouth during her year as mayor.


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It was through Mrs Weymouth that the family, including dad Mark and brothers Liam, 17, and William, 13, were able to make contact with his swimming idol who is busy training for Rio.

The fire in January was thought to be caused by an extension lead cable in the living room.

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Fortunately, no-one was in the house at the time because Liam, who has more complex needs, was having open heart surgery.

Because of the damage the family were not able to return to their house for five months and for Ethan the loss of his signed toy was particularly upsetting.

Although Jessica-Jane had given away all the 2012 merchandise one of the swimming coaches was able to source a lion for her to sign.

Mrs Weymouth said it was 'a lovely, kind and considerate' gesture.

As part of the Statements Choir Ethan has sung solo at the Minster and will sing solo at the Gorleston Cliff Top Gala.

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