12-year-old Austin Atkinson from Wakefield has a very rare type of Muscular Dystrophy that effects anything he does that requires an element of strength. Although he can take a few steps using a walking frame, Austin relies on his wheelchair to get about – without it he wouldn’t be able to do something as simple as go to school.
Austin has outgrown his wheelchair which is light and manoeuvrable – allowing him to move himself around without relying on adult support. The wheelchair offered as a replacement by the local authority is difficult for even an adult to push, let alone for Austin to move by himself, so the family have turned to Newlife for help raising the £2,588 needed to get him the right wheelchair for his needs.
Dad, Richard, said: “We are very grateful for the equipment Austin has been provided with up to this point, but the whole process of getting him a new wheelchair has been incredibly slow. He was measured over a year ago and he will have grown again since then. The chair he has been offered won’t allow him to have the independence he is used to – he’s a bright and sociable boy but without the right chair he is going to be isolated.
“Not having the right equipment, at the right time is holding disabled children back and not allowing them to reach their full potential. Austin isn’t asking anything outlandish – this is something that he needs in order to be able to live his day-to-day life and to succeed at being his best self.”