When three-year-old Archie Nelson travels to one of his many medical appointments, currently two adults are needed in the car to guarantee his safety.
Archie – from Corsham in Wiltshire – has a complex condition including encephalopathy, which affects brain function, low muscle tone which impacts on his hips, scoliosis and uncontrolled epilepsy as well as being oxygen dependent. Because he has no head control and his airway becomes blocked if his head falls forward, travelling in an upright standard car seat is a safety risk, especially as he is now outgrowing that equipment.
Mum Lauren Nelson said: “Archie is outgrowing his car seat now and it is not supporting his head or hips properly – he has such low tone in his entire body that he can’t sit in safety. A specialist seat would have additional side and head supports as well as a tilt feature so he could lie back and his airway wouldn’t become blocked.”
Archie has regular appointments at hospitals in Bath, Bristol and London (Great Ormond Street) but a specialist car seat would also help his five and seven-year-old siblings get out more for family fun days. Lauren said: “My partner Mark always sits next to Archie in the back of the car to keep a close eye on him, wherever we go, which means we both need to be available for medical appointments. Also, if we do go out for the day with the children we have to constantly stop to reposition Archie as he gets very uncomfortable because the regular car seat doesn’t have enough postural support for his needs.”
With the specialist seat to support Archie’s complex condition costing £2,324 and no funding available from local statutory services, the family contacted Newlife Foundation for Disabled Children.
Newlife is the UK’s largest charity provider of specialist equipment for children with disabilities and terminal illness.
Now Newlife is appealing to ‘local heroes’ to step forward and help us make this happen.
Newlife has provided £192,221 of equipment for children in Wiltshire and is currently working with a further eight families with equipment needs totalling £8,625. If you think you could help Archie, go to www.newlifecharity.co.uk/wiltshire and click on the Donate Now button next to his story.
Alternatively, contact the Newlife County Liaison Team on 01543 431 444 or email [email protected]
Newlife guarantees that 100 per cent of monies donated or fundraised in Wiltshire will be used to specifically help children with disabilities and terminal illness in the county. Any money raised surplus to requirements for Archie will be used to help other local children.
Pictured: Archie Nelson