Mum thanks ‘outstanding’ nursery for helping boy with serious brain condition

Finlay Ritchie (centre, in red t-shirt) with his mum and dad, children and staff at Gregorys Montessori Nursery, and Stephen Lloyd MP
Finlay Ritchie (centre, in red t-shirt) with his mum and dad, children and staff at Gregorys Montessori Nursery, and Stephen Lloyd MP

The mother of a boy with a serious brain condition has praised an Eastbourne nursery which helped him communicate and take his first steps.

Finlay Ritchie, known as Finn, had radical brain surgery to disconnect half of his brain at just 19-weeks-old after suffering about 100 seizures a day since birth.

Finlay underwent major brain surgery at just 13-months-old

Finlay underwent major brain surgery at just 13-months-old

When he first arrived at St Gregory’s Montessori Nursery School he could not even hold his head up, but now aged five he can communicate, count, knows the alphabet, and can walk with support.

Finn is taking his next steps in life by moving on to school – and his parents Kali and Martin couldn’t thank the Old Town nursery enough for all the progress he has made.

Kali said, “This is an outstanding nursery which took on a little boy with extremely complex needs and welcomed him with open arms.

“He could barely lift his head up when he arrived. Now he can walk out here with adult support.

Finlay Ritchie with his mum and dad, children and staff at Gregorys Montessori Nursery

Finlay Ritchie with his mum and dad, children and staff at Gregorys Montessori Nursery

“They have been just incredible and they are very kind and quiet about it.

“He’s an extraordinary little boy. So much of his progress is because of this amazing nursery.

“They really are the best. It’s such a place, full of joy.”

She added, “He’s got the best foundation to move on.

“The team think it’s just normal and every nursery is like this. This is not typical this is exceptional.

“He’s totally included. They have changed the entire nursery so he has the same access as the other children.

“This is what everywhere should be like. We just want to say thank you and how lucky Finn has been to have them in his life.”

The Herald first ran a story about Finn when he had his major operation back in 2012.

Mum Kali said, “From that boy to this little boy. Most of his progress is down to this place. We have been extremely fortunate.”

Finn leaves St Gregory’s this week and will be moving on to Glyne Gap, a special needs school in Bexhill.

Nursery headteacher Sue Taylor said, “We are going to miss him so much. He is a huge part of the nursery. I think the children will miss him too.

“He’s not been treated any differently. We have done what is needed for him just like for any other child.

“He was a little boy who couldn’t even sit. And now he can walk with support, he can make his own choices. He can order numbers, he’s in line with his peers.”

Eastbourne MP Stephen Lloyd paid the nursery a visit. He said, “It was a real privilege and pleasure to visit St Gregory’s Montessori Nursery.

“When Finlay’s parents Kali and Martin told me all about the amazing work and support they have been providing for Finlay I just knew it meant all their children were cared for in a really outstanding way, so I wanted to come and thank them personally for the fine work they do.”

Parents’ joy after radical surgery cures baby Finlay