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ABIGAIL, 14, INDEPENDENT FOR THE FIRST TIME

A 14-year-old Liverpool girl can now get around independently and has the freedom to play with friends thanks to specialist equipment motorising her manual wheelchair.

Abigail Ward, who no longer walks, has a condition that affects her lower limbs and struggles with strength in her upper limbs so she cannot push herself over any distance in her manual wheelchair. The adaption of Abigail’s wheelchair means she can now go where she wants independently.

The Ward family could not get funding for the essential adaption and turned to national charity Newlife Foundation for Disabled Children for the £4,300 purchase. Thanks to Newlife’s partnership with The Morgan Foundation, the vital equipment was delivered promptly.

“The Smartdrive that Newlife purchased for Abigail means that she will no longer need any assistance to be pushed, this means that she will be completely independent for the first time in her life,” explained mum, Michelle.

“As a 14-year-old girl this is very important for how she develops and grows, she said that she now feels more of an equal with her friends and she is so happy.”

The Morgan Foundation is working with Newlife to ensure more children with disabilities and terminal illness get the right equipment at the right time. This includes wheelchairs, buggies and walkers for mobility, specialist car seats and beds for safety and a range of other disability equipment including communication aids, walking frames, portable hoists and seating systems.

A Morgan Foundation fundraising golf day and gala dinner in support of Newlife held last year raised £450,000 to provide vital specialist equipment specifically for families across North Wales, Merseyside, West Cheshire, North Shropshire and parts of the West Midlands.

Steve Morgan, chairman of The Morgan Foundation, said: “Having a vital aid like this means Abigail can be transported in comfort and makes life for the family easier.

“Everyone who took part in our golf day or attended the gala dinner has helped – and will continue to help – make a real difference.”

Newlife Foundation for Children with Disabilities or terminal illness is a national charity which works extensively with families across the region and has funded in excess of £13million of disability equipment for under-19s in the UK since 2005. A total of £372,756 of this has been in Merseyside.

Newlife CEO Sheila Brown added: “As local authority budget cuts continue to bite, more and more families are turning to charities like Newlife so their children can get vital equipment for everyday life. Having the support of The Morgan Foundation is an enormous boost for Newlife.

“We look forward to helping to transform more lives across The Morgan Foundation catchment area. Anyone struggling to access equipment through their statutory services should call our Newlife Nurse Helpline to discuss their individual situation.”

For further information about The Morgan Foundation visit the website, www.morganfoundation.co.uk or call 01829 782800.

If you would like to find out more about Newlife Foundation for Disabled Children and how to access its services, call the Newlife Nurse Helpline on 0800 902 0095 (free from UK mobiles and landlines) or go to www.newlifecharity.co.uk.

Pictured: Abigail Ward

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