A four-year-old from Trentham, in Stoke-on-Trent, who has weak and floppy muscles needs a specialist car seat so he is safe, supported and comfortable when he travels with his family, which will allow them to continue with everyday life.
Judah Owen is a confident, happy and caring little boy who loves to be sociable, but he has fluid on the brain and a further brain condition which has caused developmental delay, so his abilities are more like that of an 18-month-old. Judah only began walking just over a year ago and still finds it difficult; he loses his balance easily and has difficulty with steps and stepping over things in his way.
As Judah already weighs three stone and his muscles are weak, he slumps forward in the high street car seat he has been using, which makes journeys uncomfortable for him. His parents, Naomi and John, also worry that in the event of an accident his head wouldn’t have the support it needs. As Judah is unable to get in and out of the car seat himself, Naomi has been lifting him, but because of this she is now experiencing debilitating back pain.
A specialist car seat would give Judah lots of extra padding and structure so he would have all the postural support he needs to keep him upright, and as it has a swivel base it would mean less of a struggle for Naomi to put Judah into the car seat – whether they were making a quick journey to the shops or enjoying a day out with five-year-old brother Seb and one-year-old sister Isla.
However, as the specialist car seat costs £854, the Owen family turned to Newlife Foundation for Disabled Children for help. Newlife is the UK’s largest charity provider of specialist equipment for children with disabilities and terminal illness.
Mum Naomi said: “The car seat is a massive issue right now. We have to use the car, but Judah is a long way off being able to get into it on his own and putting him into the car is backbreaking – I’m having to have physio. When he is in the car he slumps as he can’t hold himself straight, so a specialist car seat would really help.
“We have been able to try out the car seat we need for Judah and it fits him perfectly. The seat tilts backwards so it would be more supportive for his head and there is a step he can use to climb up to the seat so he could have a bit of independence. It would help me too as the base twists so I could get him in and out easily. I want to be fit and healthy for the kids, but this will be difficult if I have a bad back.”
At Newlife we need donors and fundraisers who want to really make a difference, helping us transform Judah’s everyday life. To find out how you can support Judah, go to www.newlifecharity.co.uk/staffordshire read his story and click the ‘Donate Now’ button. Alternatively, contact the Newlife County Liaison Team on 01543 431 444, email [email protected]
Newlife guarantees that 100 per cent of monies donated or fundraised in Staffordshire will be used to specifically help children with disabilities and terminal illness in the county. Any money raised surplus to requirements for Judah will be used to help other local children as he is one of 31 children in Staffordshire with equipment needs of £53,467 currently working with the charity.
Pictured: Judah Owen