Seven-year-old Rhys Thomas, from Albrighton, can have up to 60 seizures a day. Without medication the figure is closer to 150. He has the developmental age of a nine-month-old; each seizure affects his brain, resetting it so he forgets anything he has learned, even whether he’s eaten lunch.
Every seizure is a risk – with some being life threatening so Rhys needs to go to hospital. Already this year Rhys has been rushed to hospital four times, once via ambulance with suspected sepsis – but each time was sent home because the hospital didn’t have a safe bed for him.
Rhys really needs a Safespace Voyager, a specialist safety travel bed, that would allow him to be properly cared for in hospital, and would even allow him to go for respite care.
Unfortunately, the bed that Rhys needs costs £2,899, far beyond the family’s budget so until now they have been trying to struggle through as best they can. They’ve now turned to Newlife the Charity for Disabled Children for help and while the charity desperately wants to get Rhys his bed, it only has some of the funds available at the moment, so must raise £1,906 to be able to help.
Sheila Brown, OBE, the charity’s CEO said: “We would urge anyone in the Albrighton area who can help this family to get in touch. This really needs to be a community effort to make sure that if Rhys needs to be admitted to hospital then he can!”
Rhys’s dad Daniel said: “During the night, Rhys can have between 10 and 20 seizures – they are quite violent and he has no special awareness so if he is in a standard bed or a bed with hard sides it is likely that he will injure himself. We can’t really stay overnight anywhere because of the risk – we have done it once this year and Rhyshad to sleep in a modified ball pit.”
Anyone who is able to help Rhys should contact Newlife URGENTLY on 01543 431444. To donate £10 text RHYS10 to 70070, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the website at www.newlifecharity.co.uk/shropshire.
Any money raised above what is needed for Rhys’s special bed will be used to help other disabled and terminally ill children in need across Shropshire.