Two-year-old Dafydd is unable to play with his older brothers Tomos, aged nine, and Rhys, aged five, because he does not have a specialist seat to allow him to interact with his brothers comfortably and safely. Newlife Foundation for Disabled Children is appealing to local heroes in Rhondda Cynon Taf to help get Dafydd the specialist equipment he needs, called a PPod, that will allow him to spend more quality time with his family.
Dafydd Thatcher, from Llanharan, has a rare condition and is one of less than 100 boys worldwide known to have it. This has resulted in him having epilepsy, low muscle tone and minimal head control. He is also registered blind, has global developmental delay and is tube fed.
Dafydd has functional seating for therapeutic purposes but he is in need of a comfy place to sit which will enable him to relax safely with the rest of the family. At the moment Dafydd has to spend most of his time on the settee being propped up with pillows and cushions – this offers him zero postural support and does not keep him safe.
Mum Siobhan Thatcher said: “Dafydd has a high-low chair which keeps him secure but does not offer him any comfort so he can’t sit in it for long periods of time.”
The specialist seat Dafydd needs costs £928 which is why the family turned to Newlife – the largest charity funder of specialist equipment for children with disabilities and terminal illness in the UK – for help.
The PPod is a specialist piece of equipment with a moulded seat on a type of bean bag base which will give Dafydd a comfy place to sit and improve the quality of life for the whole family. Dafydd will be able to interact with his brothers more, creating opportunities for them to spend quality time together.
Siobhan added: “Playing with his brothers is a challenge because he has nowhere to sit that is comfortable while giving him all the postural support he needs – the PPod would be perfect for this.
“Dafydd is missing out on quality time with his brothers because he is unable to sit comfortably and be safe which I think is unfair. The specialist seating he needs would create more opportunities for us to make memories together, he’ll be able to play with his brothers and I’ll know he is safe.”
To date Newlife has helped 40 families in the county get the specialist equipment they need totalling £57,626. That’s why Newlife has a dedicated Rhondda Cynon Taf Fund – https://newlifecharity.co.uk/Rhondda, Cynon and Taf which gives local people the opportunity to help local disabled children. Every penny donated or fundraised in the county is guaranteed to support families in the area.
To specifically support Dafydd, go the website and click on the Donate button beside his story. Any money raised surplus to requirements for Dafydd will be used to help other local children.
The website includes contact details for the Newlife County Liaison Team – 01543 431 44401543 431 444 or email firstname.lastname@example.org – and shows specific ways people can help support children with disability and terminal illness and their families in the county.
Pictured: Dafydd Thatcher