Teenager with Down's syndrome receives hundreds of birthday cards from strangers

The year 2020 has taken some difficult turns but it has also shone a light on the best of human nature.

With weddings and birthdays cancelled, people are going the extra mile to make sure these celebrations take place in some form.

One person on the receiving end of these efforts is Bradley Pickess, a teenager with Down’s syndrome who received over 600 cards from strangers for his 18th birthday. 

Bradley, from Etwall, a village in East Midlands, was due to have a party with a bouncy castle and burger van to celebrate his milestone birthday.

However, because of Covid-19 restrictions, his mum Nicky, 40, put a plea on Facebook for people to send him a card as he loves to open mail. 

Nicky, who is his full-time carer, never expected to receive so many. 

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The mum-of-three said: ‘I was desperate to make Bradley happy on his birthday as he is such a loving boy. 

‘He loves opening post so in a desperate bid to put a big smile on Bradley’s face, I asked Facebook friends for some help. I thought we might get 20 or 30 which would be exciting for him to open. 

‘But he has received 617 cards from all over the world! 

‘He was blown away when he saw all of the cards stacked up in our lounge. He took a step back before diving in to open them. It took four hours to open half of them as we have read every single one. 

‘One had a pound in which meant the world to Bradley.

‘I can’t thank people enough!’

Nicky posted the message on Facebook on November 19 and it was shared over 600 times. People in Australia, America, France and the UK have wished Bradley happy birthday and many also sent him gifts.

Nicky said: ‘The response has been totally overwhelming. We’ve had cards delivered every day for the last two weeks.

‘The postman gave up posting them after a few days and he began to leave them in a box outside the house. He has received an obscene amount of chocolate – enough to fill a bin bag!’

Bradley also received a box full of helium balloons, superhero toys, socks, and mugs. 

‘Someone has even sent him a football shirt with his name and 18 on the back,’ Nicky added. ‘I can’t believe how kind people have been – it really is amazing! We have stuck all of the cards on his wall.

‘This is miles better than any party I could have planned. 

‘Bradley is the sweetest and kindest kid and I am glad other people could help me give something back to him.’

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