Every day for the last four years either Andrew or Gillian Bennett have travelled to be at the bedside of their son who suffered severe brain injuries in a hit and run accident.
On Monday the ordeal of the daily trek to Eastbourne finally came to an end when Oliver came back home to the Manor Park Estate in Uckfield.
The move came about after Oliver’s great aunt, Barbara Cooper, set about fund raising to provide an extension to the family home and the equipment he would need to live there.
As well as a sponsored walk in Little Horsted in 2011, the family received a wealth of donations and offers of help from well wishers and also a grant from Wealden District Council towards the building work.
“I really can’t tell you how incredible his parents are,” Barbara said.
“They have been down there every day just to check Oliver is OK.
“Gill was getting so tired and one day I came home and said to my husband we have to do something for them. Let’s do a sponsored walk to get some money in the bank for them.
“In the end we raised £16,000 and the council made up the shortfall.
“We had such lovely letters and cheques from so many people, like one who said they lost their son Oliver in an accident, and offers of help to put in the plumbing.
“It has taken two years but at last his mum and dad can be together. We are thrilled to bits.
“They also have a son in his 20s who has Downs Syndrome and four other children. They have dedicated their lives to those two boys.”
Oliver’s dad Andrew said the council grant took care of most of the building work to turn their dining room into a wet room and extend the house to make a bedroom.
The fund raising money had been used to buy equipment like a tilt table to enable Oliver to stand every day and a cycling machine so he could exercise.
Oliver was left wheelchair bound, is fed through his stomach and communicates by blinking and smiles.
After months at Hurstwood Park, then a home in Wiltshire, Oliver was moved to the Chaseley Trust Home in Eastbourne.
“One or other of us has been with him every day for the last four years from 4pm to 11 or 11.15pm, getting home for our dinner at midnight,” said Andrew.
“It is so nice to get finished with all that.
“We have a good team of support workers and it is great to be responsible for all aspects of his care and not to have to work through third parties.”
Photo by Ron Hill