A father’s emotional appeal to find a little blue cup for his son has been flooded with responses from concerned strangers.
Marc Carter, from Devon, launched an appeal to find a Tommee Tippee cup for his 14-year-old son Ben who has autism , as it is the only thing the teenager will drink from.
The father, who is a full time carer to three children on the autistic spectrum, explained that Ben has drunk exclusively from one cup since the age of two.
“No big deal right? We can just get something else,” wrote Carter. “At that age he should be drinking out of a glass!
“You’d think eh. Ben hasn’t drunk at school since the age of five, he doesn’t drink outside of the house, so we can’t go anywhere.
“People say he will drink when he’s thirsty, but two emergency trips to A&E with severe dehydration say otherwise.”
In the past, as the cup wore away the family were slowly able to replace it in parts – first the cup and then the lid a few weeks later.
“He was suspicious but we survived,” wrote Carter.
Now, the cup needs replacing again, but Tommee Tippee have discontinued production and are unable to find any exact replicas in their archives.
Cater is concerned that in a matter of weeks when the rubber lid fully breaks down and is no longer usable that Ben will suffer.
In a last ditch attempt Carter took to Twitter to request that anyone with the same cup, even if used, would sell it on to his family.
Within 48 hours, the tweet has been retweeted 17,000 times and the father-of-three has been inundated with suggestions from around the world.
Many parents have found similar cups, saved from their own children growing up, but most are not exact matches.
“I know it looks similar, but to him it is as different as night and day,” explained Carter.
Others have suggested 3D printing, and a doctor at Trinity College Dublin even offered the use of their university 3D printer, but after discussion Carter said that to achieve an exact copy would be impossible.
Despite already being sent a couple of cups, Carter said the appeal is ongoing: “I’ve got some coming, as in enough to last us a few years. But the reality is that Ben is unlikely to change, so I will need these for the rest of his life.
“That’s a lot of cups. It’s got to be easier to collect them now than try in ten years.”
If parents believe they have an identical cup that they would like to send to Ben, Carter asks that they message him on Twitter, under his username @PMPProject.
The father has also sent out a thank you letter to everyone who has offered help so far: “Thank you to everyone for trying to hard to help my little man – it has genuinely moved me to tears – it is incredible that you all want to help.”
“I just sent out a few ickle tweets for my little man, no idea this stuff happened to boring people.”