Little Joshua has a degenerative muscular condition. He can’t sit upright on his own and taking him out in a regular pushchair caused him to slouch so much he often choked.
The 18-month-old urgently needed a specialist buggy, but local statutory services couldn’t respond quickly enough to keep Joshua safe. Mum Stacey Standley, from Sheldon in Birmingham, said: “We had to go out for things like hospital appointments, but family days out, having fun together, just weren’t possible because he wasn’t comfortable and we were worried about his safety.”
Newlife the Charity for Disabled Children was asked to help, providing a specialist buggy through an Emergency Equipment Loan – and now the family can make the most of the summer sunshine with Joshua, safe in the knowledge that he is comfortable and properly supported to meet his complex health needs. Stacey said: “Since getting the loan buggy we have been able to do so much more with Joshua, like taking him to Twycross Zoo, which he absolutely loved.”
She added: “He loves the fact that he can sit up properly now and see everything that is going on around him, so we have Joshua facing forwards most of the time. But there have been days when he has been really poorly so it’s good that the seat can turn to face me so I can keep a close eye on him and make sure he’s not choking.”
Joshua is one of 1,587 disabled and terminally ill children in the West Midlands to have been helped by Newlife. Right now, the charity has another 61 children in the area who need equipment totalling £27,438.
Newlife’s Head of Charity Operations Stephen Morgan said: “It’s great we could help Joshua, but now we need to find funds to help the other West Midlands children. So we are appealing to individuals, groups, clubs and companies to help us help them. To find out how you can help a local disabled child go to: www.newlifecharity.co.uk/westmidlands. Alternatively, contact Suzie on 01543 462777 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Know that every penny you give will be used to provide specialist equipment to help change young lives.
The loan equipment for Joshua has additional pommel, under-arm, head and lateral supports specially for children with conditions like his – and the seating, which reclines, can face forwards or back towards his parents, depending on his health.
Newlife – which is based in Staffordshire and is the UK’s largest charity provider of specialist equipment – offers a range of practical support services including Emergency Equipment Loans. Specialist beds, buggies, wheelchairs, seating and portable hoists are offered on six-month loans while the charity works with local statutory services to secure permanent provision. If that isn’t possible, equipment can be offered through Newlife Equipment Grants.
Pictured: Joshua Standley