Teenager Rebekkah McCormick has received an extra special delivery – of a specialist bed – just in time for Christmas, so she can sleep in safety.
Rebekkah, aged 14 and from Renton in Dunbartonshire, has Quadriplegic Cerebral Palsy and a condition which means she has not reached many of her developmental milestones.
Because she experiences a lot of muscle spasms during the night and was in danger of falling to the floor, her parents took the legs off her bed to lower it and added side guards. Mum Denise said: “Rebekkah has rolled out of bed and had a few bumps. But lowering her bed wasn’t really enough. She frequently wakes up gagging so we put a pillow under the mattress to help raise it at one end – but this just meant she was more likely to roll out. What we really needed was a specialist bed to keep her safe.”
With no local statutory funding available for the cost of a specialist bed – £3,565 – the McCormicks turned to leading UK children’s disability charity Newlife Foundation for help. Last year (2013/14) alone, Newlife invested £2,088,105 in the safety, mobility, pain relief and health care of disabled children like Rebekkah all around the UK – by providing a wide range of essential specialist equipment including wheelchairs, car seats, portable hoists and communication aids.
The McCormicks, their friends and family raised £1,400 towards the cost of the bed, with Newlife funding the £2,165 balance.
Denise said: “When Rebekkah goes for respite care she uses a specialist bed there, so we know this is the best piece of equipment for her. The bed can be tilted to help stop her choking at night and with its higher sides she won’t be in danger of falling out. Not only that, but it is height adjustable so it will help us when we are caring for Rebekkah. I am only 4ft 11ins so leaning in to her previous bed to change and dress her was becoming more and more difficult.
“This will really help with our long term care of Rebekkah. It’s a great Christmas present!”
Newlife CEO Sheila Brown, OBE, said: “Demand on our practical support services is growing. We awarded 33 per cent more Equipment Grants around the UK in 2013/14 than the previous year; as a result, we are increasingly calling on ‘local heroes’ to help fund vital specialist equipment for children in their own areas.”
If you would like to donate or raise money to help fund specialist equipment for children in Dunbartonshire, the Newlife Community Fundraising Team can be contacted on 0800 988 4640 (free from UK landlines). Any individual or organisation thinking of running a fundraising event is asked to contact the team, who can offer support and guidance.
Newlife operates a social enterprise business which covers the costs of its core services; because of this the charity guarantees that 100 per cent of all monies donated or fundraised in Dunbartonshire will be used to fund equipment for children in the county.
Pictured: Rebekkah McCormick