Two-year-old Asher Whatton from South Normanton in Derbyshire has a condition so rare, it doesn’t have a name. The condition, caused by a chromosomal abnormality, means that Asher has a variety of physical and neurological complications – he is unable to sit up without support, his hips are dislocated and his development is delayed.
Dad Adam said: “Looking after Asher is like looking after a new born baby – but he’s a big boy – he’s heavy. When we are at home, we would either have to carry Asher or he had to lie on the floor because we didn’t have the right supportive seating to keep him comfortable.”
The lack of the right equipment meant that Asher and his parents were missing out on being able to play together and as they had recently moved house they were struggling to even get an assessment with their new local authority. In desperation, they turned to Newlife, the Charity for Disabled Children for help.
Through its equipment recycling initiative, Newlifeable, the charity was able to provide Asher with a Neptune seat, a fantastically innovative piece of equipment that allows Asher to be moved around his home and lets him be positioned at different heights.
Adam said: “Asher loves to be in the kitchen with his mum, but up until now, this area of the house was out of bounds for him as there was nowhere we could put him down safely. But now we have the seat we can get messy and do some cooking with him – he loves to get involved.”
The recycling scheme was also able to provide Asher with a bath seat which means he can now enjoy bath time with his new baby sisters, something he absolutely loves.
Adam went on to say: “We can’t thank Newlife enough for the support they have given us. Newlife was able to plug the gap in provision for Asher while we were still waiting for statutory services and have allowed us to do things with him that we couldn’t do before – simple things like be in our kitchen together.”
Newlife’s Head of Charity Operations Stephen Morgan says: “It’s great we could help Asher, especially as the family were facing a long wait just to get an assessment with their new local authority. But right now the charity has another 15 disabled and terminally ill children in Derbyshire who are in need of specialist equipment and we must raise £3,761 to help them too.
“We really want to help change the lives of these children and their families, so we are calling on local individuals, groups, clubs and companies to get involved and support them too. If you think you could help by donating or fundraising, please visit www.newlifecharity.co.uk/derbyshire. Alternatively, contact a member of the team on 01543 462777 or email email@example.com.”