Brothers Robert and William Mayor have the degenerative condition Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. They both undergo daily physiotherapy routines at their home in Dorchester but urgently need specialist equipment to ensure this continues.
Dad Brian Mayor said: “Both boys need the daily 40-minute sessions to help prevent unnecessary deterioration of their muscles. At the moment the physiotherapy is carried out on the floor of the lounge, as we have nowhere else suitable. This isn’t so bad for seven-year-old William because he is still mobile – the massage routine will help maintain this for as long as possible – and can get on and off the floor. But Robert, who is 13, is now in a wheelchair full-time. That means I have to lift him in and out of his wheelchair and onto the floor – and as he gets older this is becoming more and more difficult.”
Home treatment complements the physiotherapy the boys receive at school. Robert is a pupil at Dorchester Middle School, which William will be attending this autumn.
The family needs an £839 height-adjustable hydraulic therapy plinth so the boys can continue with their treatment. Brian said: “Not only will this make it more comfortable for the boys, it will be easier for me to get them into position and mean we can carry out the physiotherapy more effectively, at a proper working level.”
He added: “The last thing we want to do is have to abandon the physiotherapy.”
Lack of available statutory funding for equipment of this sort prompted the Mayor family to turn to national children’s disability charity Newlife Foundation for help. Newlife has helped provide £72,082 of disability equipment for 52 children in Dorset.
Newlife CEO Sheila Brown, OBE, said: “Because of cutbacks to statutory services across the UK and the resulting increased demand on Newlife’s resources, we are calling on ‘local heroes’ to help us raise money to fund specialist equipment in Dorset. We guarantee that 100 per cent of any monies received will go directly to provide this urgently needed equipment for Robert and William – and any surplus funding will be ring-fenced to help other disabled and terminally ill children in the county.”
Newlife Lead Nurse Karen Dobson added: “The specialist hydraulic therapy plinth will enable the family to continue the invaluable home physiotherapy and massage routine, as recommended by the health professions working with Robert and William. The plinth will reduce manual handling risks for parents and carers as well as enhancing the effectiveness of the physiotherapy – and the boys’ dignity!”
If you think you can help, the Newlife Community Fundraising Team can be contacted on freephone 0800 988 4640. Any individual or organisation thinking of running a fundraising event is asked to contact the team, who can offer support and guidance.
For full details of the charity’s range of practical support families for disabled and terminally ill children and their families, call the Newlife Nurse Helpline – freephone 0800 902 0095 – or go to: https://newlifecharity.co.uk
Pictured: Robert Mayor