Six-year-old Evangelina Moissard has a form of dwarfism which means she is the height of a two-year-old, but part of her condition affects her weight. This meant her mum couldn’t find a high street car seat that she could safely – and legally – travel in.
Evangelina, known as Eva, from Ivybridge, had outgrown her old standard car seat and could no longer put her arms in the straps, but despite her mum, Heidi, spending weeks searching, there wasn’t a suitable high street replacement to keep her safe, so they could only make the most essential trips.
The only option was a specialist car seat – at a cost of £1,242. Thankfully Newlife the Charity for Disabled Children was able to come to the rescue and give Eva the specialist car seat she needed to keep her safe.
Eva’s mum Heidi said: “Eva is extra small, but chunky as she weighs 22 kilos. She can’t walk more than a few steps and uses a wheelchair most of the time. In the car she still needed a seat with a five point harness to be safe, but they don’t make them with these in her weight range. I didn’t know what I was going to do.
“I had pretty much stopped taking Eva out in the car, I was just making short, essential journeys. This car seat has made an amazing difference to our lives as Eva is safe and comfortable. The turntable base means I can transfer her in and out of the car without struggling too. It’s so much better!”
The car seat to keep Eva safe was funded through Newlife’s partnership with fashion store chain River Island, and its ‘fantastic plastic initiative’ which sees the profit from every five pence carrier bag sold at River Island’s UK stores go to Newlife to directly fund vital equipment. To date, this has resulted in almost £600,000 of specialist support.
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 that we could help Eva, but there are many others in Devon who need our help too. We are calling on local individuals, groups, clubs and companies to get involved and support them.”