By George, they did it!

Crimdon dippers taking part in the charity Boxing Day Dip to raise funds for George Carr
Crimdon dippers taking part in the charity Boxing Day Dip to raise funds for George Carr

DOZENS of people braved the icy North Sea to raise funds for a charity close to the heart of the family of a brave baby.

Little George Carr was the reason many of his family and friends arranged their own Boxing Day Dip at Crimdon Dene.

The seven-week-old was just three weeks old when he was diagnosed with life-limiting lung disease cystic fibrosis.

But his family are determined that he will live a normal life and they are dedicated to raising money and awareness of cystic fibrosis, a condition which sees thick, sticky mucus affecting a number of organs, particularly the lungs and digestive system.

Thirty-seven of George’s family and friends, including dad Brett Carr, a 27-year-old Darfen Fencing worker based at Peterlee, braved the sea for the daredevil feat and they reckon they have raised around £2,000 from the dip, which Brett says is a “fantastic” amount.

Around 200 spectators showed up to show their support.

Among the dippers were people in fancy dress, including Santas, turtles and a giraffe.

Family friend Martin Appleby, 23, from Wheatley Hill, fresh from a six-month tour of Afghanistan in which he got hit with shrapnel in his knee and arm in a grenade attack, also took part.

Brett said he and George’s mum, Gemma Worthington, a 23-year-old HMRC centre worker, were “distraught” when they were told about their son’s condition.

“We didn’t know what it was,” said Brett, who is originally from Wheatley Hill but now lives in Dunelm Road, Thornley.

“I thought he was going to be in a wheelchair for the rest of his life.

“But the way the doctors put it over to us and explained everything was superb.”

George was tested for cystic fibrosis when he was five days old.

While waiting for test results, his parents were worried that he was losing weight.

But the results were revealed three weeks later and medics at Newcastle’s RVI confirmed George had cystic fibrosis.

But Brett said: “He will live a normal life, he will just be on medication for the rest of his life and we will have to do a lot of physio and exercise to get the mucus off his lungs.”

He said George will visit the RVI every six weeks for check-ups and to see his doctors, who described as “one big family to us”.

Brett thanked everyone for taking part, as well as Gemma’s sister Faye Worthington and cousin Paul Duffy for helping to organise the event, and Wheatley Hill Workingmen’s Club for laying on food and drink after the dip and Harry’s Bar, in Thornley, for collecting sponsorship.

The family are planning a charity darts and dominoes night at Shotton Comrades Club, in Potto Street, Shotton Colliery, on March 1.

l More Seaton Carew Boxing Day Dip pictures: See Pages 14-15.