The rising number of calls for help from families of disabled and terminally ill children in Nottinghamshire has prompted a leading charity to recruit an Awareness and Fundraising Manager for the region.
The new role is vital to the work of Newlife Foundation for Disabled Children to help ensure continued support for families of vulnerable children such as 13-year-old Adam Wakelin from Nottinghamshire.
The teenager is lucky to be alive after mesh sides, fitted to his hospital bed to stop him from falling out, collapsed on top of him and covered his face leaving him suffocating and barely conscious.
Adam’s parents, Liz and David Wakelin, went to check on their boy and found him gasping for air, with the mesh imprinted on his face, which was purple and incredibly swollen. They cleared blood and mucus from his throat before he was rushed to hospital by paramedics for emergency treatment.
Adam, who has been diagnosed with epilepsy, chronic lung disease and quadriplegic cerebral palsy – which means he can’t roll over but can wiggle around on his back – is now sleeping safely at night thanks to an Emergency Bed Loan (EBL) from Newlife Foundation.
Mum Liz said: “Things were as serious as they could be. Adam almost lost his life because the bed he was sleeping in wasn’t safe.”
Thankfully Liz knew her son was going to be okay but she had no idea how to keep him safe once he was discharged from hospital. She asked for advice on a Facebook page launched to support parents with disabled children and was soon contacted by a member of staff from Newlife Foundation who said the charity could help through its Emergency Bed Loan service.
EBL was launched earlier this year as a direct response to calls from families whose children were sleeping in unsafe environments or needed additional support to leave hospital.
Liz said: “We truly can not thank Newlife enough for the peace of mind and security we feel, knowing that Adam is safe to sleep in his bed every night. We were distraught, with no clue what we could do to make Adam safe, I was so happy when Newlife offered to help us, I was in floods of tears all week!
“The loan of the bed is truly tremendous, you really have no idea just how much we appreciate it. It’s more than just a bed, it’s safety and security for Adam.”
Emergency Bed Loans are made for six months, which gives Newlife time to work with statutory services to secure local funding – and if this is not successful the charity maymake provision through its own Equipment Grants service
Established in 1991 the charity delivers help across the UK by delivering equipment loans and granting equipment to help children such as Adam and their families. The Newlife Nurse Helpline helps thousands of families face the challenges of caring for children with such needs.
If you are an experienced, target driven fundraiser with outstanding communication skills who would like to feel that every £1 they raise will help to change children’s lives, then contact the Newlife Foundation personnel department on 01543 468888 or visit www.newlifecharity.co.uk for more information.
The charity guarantees that 100 per cent of all monies donated or fundraised in Nottinghamshire can be ring-fenced to specifically provide equipment for disabled and terminally ill children within the county. If you think you could help, the Newlife Community Fundraising Team can be contacted on freephone 0800 988 4640. Any individual or organisation thinking of running a fundraising event is asked to contact the team, who can offer support and guidance.
Pictured: Adam Wakelin