A nine-year-old Atherstone boy who is only able to walk short distances is now enjoying the freedom to get out and about easily with his family, thanks to a special buggy provided by the UK’s leading children’s disability charity, Newlife Foundation.
Everyday situations like popping to the shops or going to hospital appointments were a struggle for Mason Lewis and his parents, Rebecca Prentice and Steve Lewis, as he can’t walk very far and is too heavy to carry. As he has no awareness of danger, there is also a risk to his safety.
Mason was born with a lung condition and received a lung transplant five years ago. He has significant developmental delay, learning difficulties, mild Cerebral Palsy, is fed through a tube and doesn’t speak. After he grew out of the buggy he was using his parents felt it was too risky to take him out unless it was absolutely necessary.
Unable to take him out into their local community and with frequent visits to Great Ormond Street Hospital in London, where Mason is treated, not having a special buggy for Mason had become a real issue. As the equipment they needed would cost more than £1,360, the family turned to Newlife Foundation for Disabled Children, the UK’s largest provider of specialist equipment for children with disabilities and terminal illness.
Recognising the urgency of the situation, the charity was able to provide the equipment Mason needed within a few weeks – which immediately improved life for the whole family.
Mum Rebecca said: “The new buggy is amazing and has made a huge difference. We can do more things now than we could before. It means we can lead a much more normal life.
“Mason loves being in the buggy and he’s very good. We do let him walk when we can, but when he’s tired or out of breath – he still has asthma – he will look at me and I’ll know he wants to get in the buggy.
“The buggy a bit easier to push, so his sister, Indianna, who is 12 can help push him too.
“His special buggy has larger back wheels and seatbelt clips so it can be anchored into a special needs vehicle. These are small things, but they make life so much easier. It has given us much more freedom.”
Newlife has provided £232,470 of equipment for 201 children in Warwickshire and the charity is currently working with a further seven families in Warwickshire with combined equipment needs of £6,999. If you think you could fundraise or donate to help a local child, call our County Liaison Team on 01543 431 444 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. For further information about how Newlife supports families in the county, go to www.newlifecharity.co.uk/warwickshire.
For full details of Newlife Foundation’s range of practical support for disabled and terminally ill children and their families, call the Newlife Nurse Helpline – 0800 902 0095 (free from UK landlines and mobiles) – or go to: www.newlifecharity.co.uk
Pictured: Mason Lewis