Fabulous fundraisers have rallied to an appeal – featured in the Edinburgh Evening News – to help disabled two-year-old Benjamin Davey get the specialist seating he so urgently needs. The charity helping Benjamin’s family now has all the funding required for the equipment, which he will receive shortly.
His mum Alexandra Davey said: “We have been amazed at how generous people have been – the local response has been wonderful.”
Benjamin – from Dunbar, East Lothian – has microlissencephaly, which means his brain has failed to develop normally, as well as cerebral palsy, epilepsy, developmental delay and a visual impairment. He needs to be posturally supported at all times and the only appropriate seating the family currently has is a rigid functional chair which is suitable for mealtimes. A specialist P-Pod chair – based on a bean bag concept with postural support – will give him a safe and comfortable place to sit and relax, especially when he is recovering from illness after he has been discharged from hospital.
With no funding available from local statutory services, Benjamin’s family contacted Newlife Foundation for Disabled Children for help. Newlife is the UK’s largest charity provider of specialist equipment for children with disabilities and terminal illness.
Newlife had some of the funding already available, but appealed to ‘local heroes’ through the Edinburgh Evening News to help raise the £648 outstanding.
Mum of three Alexandra Davey said: “Benjamin can’t relax on the sofa like the rest of the family, he would just fall off. He has high muscle tone and he tends to arch his back so his hips pop forward. The P-Pod offers all the support he needs, but is padded for comfort and has a five-point harness to keep him secure.
“When we go to our local hospice we see a lot of children in P-Pods and they always look more comfortable than Benjamin. This seating will mean he can actually spend more time with the family in the lounge.”
The P-Pod will be especially helpful when he is recovering from illness at home and give him an alternative from being in bed, isolated from family life. Alexandra said: “Benjamin has had recurrent bouts of pancreatitis over the summer, as well as chickenpox which completely floored him. In the same period he has also had three respiratory infections and required intravenous feeds, oxygen and a blood transfusion.”
Newlife Head of Community Fundraising Nora Smith said: “We would like to say a huge thank you to the local community for the amazing support shown for Benjamin and his family. This piece of equipment will make a huge difference to their daily lives.”
If you would like to help other children like Benjamin in East Lothian, go to www.newlifecharity.co.uk/eastlothian – Newlife has already supported 17 children in the area with equipment totalling £29,323. Alternatively, contact the Newlife County Liaison Team on 01543 431 444, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Newlife guarantees that 100 per cent of monies donated or fundraised in East Lothian will be used to specifically help children with disabilities and terminal illness in the county.
Pictured: Benjamin Davey