The rapid response of Newlife the Charity for Disabled Children in providing a disabled three-year-old with a specialist bed has saved him from a serious head injury.
Samantha Jestico was suddenly woken one morning to her son, Levi, screaming because he’d fallen out of his cot and landed on his head, narrowly missing hitting his head on a wooden chest of drawers. Fortunately, Levi, who has a habit of throwing his bedding onto the floor, had landed on a pillow but things could have been very different.
Levi, from Harwich in Essex, has a neurological condition that has caused developmental delay, severe Epilepsy and problems with his immune system. He has started to pull himself up in his cot so he can stand, but because he has no awareness of danger, he keeps falling out.
Samantha had been frantically trying to get hold of her son’s Occupational Therapist for some advice, without success – it had already taken the local authority eight months to provide a high chair so she worried about a bed taking even longer.
“None of us were getting any sleep,” Samantha said “I was having to put quilts and pillows at the side of the cot to make a crash mat and I wasn’t getting any support from the Essex County Council Occupational Therapist. It wasn’t until the SENCO worker at The Ark Centre, Levi’s Nursery, suggested I contact Newlife, that I started to feel as though we were getting somewhere.”
Newlife recognised the danger of Levi’s situation and provided him with a specialist, padded bed through its Emergency Equipment Loan service, which arrived just 7 days after receiving the application. The bed has made a huge difference, not only to Levi’s safety, but to the whole family’s quality of life.
“I just don’t think that my son is getting the best possible care from those whose duty it is to provide it,” said Samantha. “Without Newlife, he would still be in danger. Thankfully the charity is now supporting us to get a permanent bed for Levi through our local authority and our OT and Physiotherapist are being great – I am starting to feel like Levi is getting the help he deserves. It’s not a magic bed – he still doesn’t sleep very well – but most importantly, he is safe. And for that I am extremely grateful.”
Newlife is the largest charity providing equipment for disabled and terminally ill children in the UK and is the only charity with an emergency service which loans specialist beds for disabled children who don’t have a safe place to sleep as well as seating, buggies and wheelchairs for life limited and terminally ill children, aiming to deliver the equipment within 72 hours when possible.
Newlife’s emergency service costs £1 million each year to run and helps to save and change the lives of children across the UK. Just £1,100 would enable Newlife to provide emergency equipment loans, like to one Levi received, for two children.
You can help more children like Levi by donating to support Newlife. Please visit our website www.newlifecharity.co.uk or call us on 01543 462777. To donate specifically to Emergency Equipment Loans, go to www.newlife.support/GiveEEL.