Three-year-old Olivia Reeves, from Newmarket in Suffolk, is severely disabled – she needs a specialist seat to ensure she doesn’t choke or stop breathing and to keep her safe.
When she is at home the only place she has to sit is a hard functional chair that offers her no comfort at all, so she often ends up lying on the floor. The family sofa doesn’t give her the support she needs and there is a risk she could fall off.
Olivia has a condition that means three parts of her brain haven’t developed properly – she also has dystonia, so she doesn’t bend, and has recently had surgery to help keep her airways clear and aid her breathing. Without the proper seating, Olivia’s mum Rochelle can’t safely leave her daughter for a second.
The seating called P-Pod would take that worry away as its moulded seat would help keep Olivia in a safe and comfortable position to keep her airways open, as well as giving her body the postural support she needs.
Rochelle said: “The most important thing to me is that Olivia is comfortable and safe. It is so worrying that she hasn’t got the support she needs to keep her airways open – I can’t take my eyes off her for a second. Having the P-Pod would means that Olivia would get that support and comfort as she could be safely strapped in.”
As the local statutory services don’t fund this sort of seating, Rochelle turned to Newlife the Charity for Disabled Children for help. The charity would like to help Olivia and has £366 available but needs to raise an additional £732 to get her the equipment she so desperately needs.
Stephen Morgan, Head of Charity Operations at Newlife, said: “We are calling on companies, groups and individuals locally to be a hero and donate to help Olivia get the P-Pod she needs to keep has safe and comfortable.”
Right now, Newlife has four disabled and terminally ill children in Suffolk in need of specialist equipment and needs to raise £1,453 to help them.
Newlife has already supported 99 children in Suffolk and any funds raised above the amount needed to help Olivia will be used to help another child in the county.
If you can help Olivia or other disabled or terminally ill children in Suffolk, please go to www.newlife.co.uk/suffolk or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Telephone donations can be made by calling 01543 462777.
Stephen added: “We have dozens of applications every day and while we want to help as many children as we can, we do need help to do this. That is why we are appealing to local people in Suffolk to help Olivia.”
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