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A disabled seven-year-old from Sheldon can open his presents on Christmas morning with his family and join them around the table when they tuck into their festive feast, thanks to the early gift of a specialist seat from Newlife the Charity for Disabled Children.

Hugh Murphy can't walk, talk, situp or stand, but the seat called a P Pod gives vital support to his posture, relieves pressure on his curved spine and keeps him safe from injury during a seizure when he can stop breathing for up to 16 minutes - so when Hugh outgrew this he was no longer safe. Thankfully Newlife provided him with a larger P Pod a week after the family's application was approved - just in time for Christmas.

Mum Emma said: “The new P Pod couldn’t have come at a better time as we had just come out of hospital with Hugh. I had been putting up Christmas decorations when I looked down at him – he wasn’t breathing and was blue. When this happens we have to give him rescue medication and preform CPR until it works. When we came home we were able to put Hugh in his new P Pod knowing he was completely safe, supported and comfortable as possible.

“Hugh can’t sit on the sofa to relax like myself, dad Stephen and brother Sean, so he spends a lot of time in his P Pod, but a growth spurt meant he could undo the straps, arch his back and slide down, so he could only sit in it for a short time and his wheelchair isn’t as comfortable. Because his P Pod is on wheels he can join us wherever we are, so now we can all enjoy celebrating Christmas together as a family. I’m so thankful Newlife got the new P Pod to us so quickly.”

Right now, Newlife has 62 disabled and terminally ill children in the West Midlands in need of specialist equipment and must raise £34,927 to help them. Newlife has already supported 1,666 children across the West Midlands.

Newlife’s head of Charity Operations, Stephen Morgan said: “Every day disabled and terminally ill children suffer avoidable pain and worsening conditions when they can’t get the right equipment at the right time – no child should have to endure this.

“It’s great we could help Hugh, but there are many others in the West Midlands who need our help too. We are calling on local individuals, groups, clubs and companies to get involved and support them. If you think you could help by donating or fundraising, please visit www.newlifecharity.co.uk/westmidlands. Alternatively, contact Suzie or a member of the team on 01543 462777 or email local@newlifecharity.co.uk.

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