A specialist comfy chair – costing just £462 – will allow a little boy from London to relax free from pain. Can you help?
Five-year-old Elijah Hyde, from Brixton, has been diagnosed with cerebral palsy and often finds it extremely uncomfortable to sit.
Statutory services have provided him with a formal high chair but Elijah has to be strapped in which can make it very uncomfortable.
A specialist P-pod chair, which is similar to a beanbag but moulded to offer seating support, would give the youngster all the seating support he needs and allow him to sit pain free so he can enjoy a more relaxed evening with his mum Fatima and older sister.
However, statutory services have refused to fund the equipment promoting the family to turn leading charity Newlife Foundation for Disabled Children for help.
Fatima said: “It would be absolutely wonderful for Elijah to have a P-pod chair – they are so comfortable and is exactly what he needs.
“A P-pod has a formal structure but it is much more comfortable. We have been able to trial one in the past and it’s the only thing that Elijah can really relax in.
“He has a formal chair at school and a formal chair at home so he always has to sit very upright and is strapped in which isn’t very comfortable. He doesn’t have anywhere he can just sit, be snug and chill out.”
In an effort to make her son comfy, Fatima has tried placing Elijah on the sofa and propping him up with cushions.
She said: “We have tried everything to make him snug. Elijah really finds it hard to sit in his formal chair when he has had a long day at school and is tired.
“I have tried propping him up with cushions but because he can’t keep himself upright he often ends up with his back arched which is very uncomfortable.
“Sitting like that could also lead to further complications with his spine. When we had the trial P-pod chair Elijah absolutely loved it. He looked really snug in it and it allowed him to do lots of different movements that he can’t do in the formal chair.
“His formal chair is really good but he doesn’t need it all the time so it was great to be able see him really relaxed and being able to enjoy a chilled out evening.”
Newlife Foundation is now actively seeking donations to help fund Elijah’s P-pod chair. The charity has funded 425 Equipment Grants for disabled and terminally ill children in London, totalling £679,304.
However, the demand for Newlife services has shot up in recent months and the charity is appealing for ‘local heroes’ to come forward to fundraise or donate towards the cost of equipment for children in the county.
Newlife CEO Sheila Brown, OBE, said: “As cutbacks continue to bite into local authority budgets we can expect to see applications for Newlife equipment services continue to rise.
“As a charity we are looking increasingly to ‘local heroes’ to help us help children in individual counties – and Newlife guarantees that 100 per cent of all monies donated or fundraised in London can be ring-fenced to help Elijah or provide essential equipment for disabled and terminally ill children within the capital.”
If you think you can help the Hyde family, the Newlife Community Fundraising Team can be contacted on freephone 0800 988 4640 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Pictured: Elijah Hyde
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