Little Evelyn Law was just eight months old when she had a cardiac arrest at her Corby home, leaving her brain starved of oxygen and resulting in damage which has changed her life. Now, aged 16 months, she needs a specialist seat to give her somewhere safe to relax which will also provide the extra support she needs to be comfortable.
Although Evelyn has a buggy to go out in and a functional seat for meal times, she has nowhere comfortable to sit. A P-Pod seat, which is essentially a moulded chair on a bean bag base, would make a big difference to Evelyn’s life, as well as to her parents, Claire and Alan, and big sister Olivia, aged three.
However, as the P-Pod costs £1,086, the Law family turned to Newlife Foundation for help. Newlife is the UK’s largest charity provider of specialist equipment for children with disabilities and terminal illness.
Mum Claire said: “We have a bean bag or the floor to put Evelyn on, neither of which support her properly. We have gone from needing standard baby equipment to needing lots of different specialist equipment for everyday life.”
Claire recalls: “It was a normal day, when Evelyn was eight months old, that she just screamed and collapsed. The ambulance station is at the bottom of our road so it only took them four minutes to get here – thankfully Olivia saw nothing of this, but Evelyn had unexplained cardio respiratory distress and it took 45 minutes to get her heartbeat back.
“Evelyn was in hospital for four-and-a-half months and we finally managed to come home on the weekend of her first birthday. We went to the Rainbow hospice in Loughborough and celebrated there.”
Now the family are moving forward, putting into place everything Evelyn needs to be as comfortable and happy as possible.
Claire added: “We don’t know how long we have Evelyn for. She’s a lot more responsive than she was and she loves music and Olivia singing to her. She loves to giggle and laugh. It’s been difficult, but life just kind of carries on. We have just moved house to try and accommodate her a bit better in the future.
“We are learning how to get into a routine now but Evelyn really does need the P-Pod. She doesn’t like being at floor level and this seat would mean she is at the same height at the rest of us when we are on the sofa and meal times, which would help us all have better family time together. It means she is able to see what’s going on around her and be much more involved.
“It would also give me somewhere to put her where I know she is safe if I have to attend to Olivia or answer the door. The seat is mobile, so it’s easily transportable so we can take Evelyn with us wherever we are. Evelyn is very aware of us leaving the room – it may only be for 30 seconds but it makes a big difference to her!”
At Newlife we need donors and fundraisers who want to really make a difference, helping us transform Evelyn’s everyday life. To find out how you can support Evelyn, go to www.newlifecharity.co.uk/northamptonshire, read her 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 Northamptonshire will be used to specifically help children with disabilities and terminal illness in the county. Any money raised surplus to requirements for Evelyn will be used to help other local children as she is just one of 11 children in Northamptonshire with current equipment needs of £8,455 currently working with the charity.
Pictured: Evelyn Law