A Glasgow three-year-old with Autistic Spectrum Disorder is now safe through the night, thanks to the emergency loan of a specialist bed from Newlife Foundation for Disabled Children – the UK’s largest charity provider of specialist equipment for children with disabilities and terminal illness. However, her family urgently needs funding for a permanent bed.
Little Bella Campbell lives in the Oatlands area of the city with her parents Kirsty Gaughan and Steven Campbell and her six-year-old sister Miley. She loves animals, using the iPad and playing with water, but she struggles to speak, has sensory issues which cause her to feel quite overwhelmed by the world around her, has no awareness of danger and is being assessed for pica, a condition where children eat non-food items.
Bella also struggles to sleep, taking hours to settle and then often only sleeping for a few hours. When she is awake she loves to climb and before the loan of the safe sleeping environment, she had fallen over the side of her cot in the night and injured herself.
Desperate to keep Bella safe, her parents had her sleeping in their room in a travel cot so they could keep an eye on her at all times, but this meant they got very little sleep themselves, especially as she would scream when she was awake. As the specialist bed Bella needs, called a SafeSpace, would cost £6,695, the family turned to Newlife Foundation for Disabled Children for help.
Recognising the urgency of the situation Newlife loaned the family a travel version of the bed which has high, soft and flexible sides which will prevent Bella from climbing and hurting herself. However the loan is only for a six month period while a permanent solution is sought.
Now Newlife is calling on people across Glasgow City for their help, as the number of families who urgently need vital equipment in Scotland has reached an all-time high, with 38 children needing £101,978 of equipment.
Bella’s mum, Kirsty said: “The loan bed has been brilliant. Before, she would climb out of her cot and I was always scared she would fall and hurt herself, or get downstairs and eat something she shouldn’t. I didn’t sleep at all; it just kept going through my head what could happen – it was horrible.
“Because of the loan bed Bella has now been able to go back into her own bedroom, which is a lot better for all of us.”
As well as keeping Bella safe from harm, the safe sleeping environment, which is often described as a room within a room, is a low sensory environment which help keep Bella calm and relaxed enough to go back to sleep when she wakes.
Mum Kirsty added: “I can’t believe how much it has helped, she gets a lot more sleep now and is happier and we know that she is safe and is really comfortable – but we really need a SafeSpace of our own.”
If you would like to support Bella, go to www.newlifecharity.co.uk/glasgowcity and click on the Donate button next to her story. Alternatively, contact the Newlife County Liaison Team on 01543 431 444, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Newlife guarantees that 100 per cent of monies donated or fundraised in Glasgow city will be used to specifically help children with disabilities and terminal illness in the county. Any money raised above the amount needed for Bella will be used to help other local children as Bella is one of eight in Glasgow city with equipment needs of £15,456.
Pictured: Bella Campbell