Although eight-year-old Rory Macdonald can’t walk or talk, his doting mum says he is a happy boy who ‘lights up’ when he interacts with people. However, without a mobile hoist to help lift him, life is very restricted both inside and outside their Howwood home in Renfrewshire.
Rory has Quadriplegic Cerebral Palsy, epilepsy which causes him to have daily seizures and he is registered blind. Recurrent chest infections mean he needs to be kept in just the right position to help his breathing, he is tube fed and ill health often cause his seizures to increase.
A ceiling hoist helps Rory’s mum Ruth get him out of bed in the morning and there is a lift to get downstairs, but as Ruth finds it increasingly difficult to transfer him, he often remains in his chair, although Ruth tries to help him change position as often as possible to avoid painful pressure sores developing on his skin.
Ruth said: “I’m always conscious that he is stuck in the chair, but it’s difficult to even move him from the chair to the floor. It takes two people to lift Rory and as I’m on my own I dread lifting him as I have developed such a sore back.”
A simple mobile hoist would mean Rory could easily be manoeuvred around their home and it would give them the freedom and opportunity to go about everyday life more easily with his four-year-old sister, Mollie. However, as a mobile hoist costs £2,250, Ruth turned to Newlife Foundation for Disabled Children for help. Newlife is the UK’s leading charity provider of essential equipment to meet the needs of children with disabilities and terminal illness.
Ruth said: “Rory has developed a system of blinking to respond to questions and he loves people, he lights up when he’s with people, whether it is strangers or friends. He’s a happy soul unless something is bothering him, but we need a mobile hoist that is easily transportable as we are very restricted at the moment. It would just give us so many more options and solve a lot of our problems.
“We would be able to go out because I could easily put him in his wheelchair. It’s difficult at the moment because it is a full postural chair and his arms and legs can be very rigid and have spasms. We could enjoy going out in the fresh air, visit friends and family or go away for a week somewhere – there aren’t many places you can go which already have hoists!
“A hoist would also give Rory more dignity. It takes two people to lift Rory and it’s not comfortable for him. He feels more secure with a hoist and even if we are at my mum’s house with family, it would be nice not to have to involve anyone else to help lift him.
“Having a hoist would really just make life a lot easier for us all.”
At Newlife we need donors and fundraisers who want to really make a difference, helping us transform Rory’s everyday life. To find out how you can support Rory, go to www.newlifecharity.co.uk/renfrewshire read his story and click the ‘Donate Now’ button. Alternatively, contact the Newlife County Liaison Team on 01543 431 444, email email@example.com.
Newlife guarantees that 100 per cent of monies donated or fundraised in Renfrewshire will be used to specifically help children with disabilities and terminal illness in the county. Any money raised surplus to requirements for Rory will be used to help other local children as he is currently one of four in Renfrewshire with equipment needs of £6,073.
Pictured: Rory Macdonald