Two hours sleep a night was the best that mum Deana Williams could hope for. Her son’s disability means he doesn’t understand the difference between night and day and has absolutely no awareness of danger.
Five-year-old Nehemiah Wilson, from Kettering, has Autism and his behaviour can be very challenging. Deana says: “Nehemiah was sleeping on average just a couple of hours a night. I never knew what he would be up to next, but he just wasn’t safe in his own room.”
His disability means mum could find him climbing on wardrobes, breaking lightbulbs or turning on the cooker.
The less he slept the worse Nehemiah’s behaviour became. “It was really serious,” said Deana. Nehemiah’s occupational therapist recommended a specialist safe sleeping environment for him, but Deana was told he would have to go on a waiting list.
Starved of sleep, she just couldn’t wait. In desperation she turned to Newlife the Charity for Disabled Children – which quickly responded with the Emergency Equipment Loan of a specialist bed that has seen “an amazing transformation” in Nehemiah, who is now back in his own bedroom.
Deana says: “Nehemiah now settles down really quickly and has gone from having virtually no sleep at all to going right through the night, often for ten to 12 hours. If he does jump around in the bed he is safe because it is soft and fully padded so he can’t hurt himself.”
She added: “Being able to sleep has had a big impact on his daytime behaviour too. We now have proper mum and son time together, enjoying more activities. I don’t know what we would have done without the help from Newlife.”
Nehemiah is one of 244 disabled and terminally ill children in Northamptonshire to have been helped by Newlife through provision of specialist equipment from a range of practical support services. Right now, the charity has a further five children in the county with equipment needs totalling £4,461.
Newlife’s Head of Charity Operations Stephen Morgan said: “It’s great we could help Nehemiah, but now we need to find funds to help the other Northamptonshire 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/northamptonshire.
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.
Pictured: Nehemiah Wilson