A five-year-old from Preston who has Quadriplegic Cerebral Palsy uses a special seat as the ‘control centre’ of her life, as it keeps her in just the right position for her health and enables her to use an iPad, which is the only way she can communicate. However after outgrowing this, she needs a larger version to keep her safe and happy.
Like many young girls, Georgia Martin loves anything bright pink and is a big fan of the film Frozen; she is bright and loves to look up things on the internet which interest her. Her condition means she has loose and floppy muscles throughout her body, so she isn’t always able to control her own head and isn’t able to roll, sit, crawl, stand or walk. Although she is able to vocalise sounds, she has no speech, is fed through a tube and is prone to chest infections which means she needs to be upright.
Georgia spends the majority of her time in her P-Pod, which is a specialist piece of equipment including a moulded seat on a type of bean bag base. This allows her to be in just the right position for her to be properly supported, while also relaxing. As she is upright, it helps Georgia see what’s going on in the world around her, helps her breathe and stops her internal organs from being compressed. The addition of a lap tray means she can prop up her iPad which is the only way she can communicate with her mum, Kelly.
A growth spurt means the P-Pod originally funded by Newlife Foundation for Disabled Children, the UK’s largest charity provider of specialist equipment for children with disabilities and terminal illness, now no longer supports her – prompting Kelly to apply to the charity again to help fund the £1,314 chair.
Kelly said: “Before we had the P-Pod she was angry and frustrated and would scream a lot. The chair is her control centre from which she has access to all the things she loves. It helps her use her iPad which means she can have a full conversation with me, which makes life so much better for us. The happiness she gets from being able to communicate is amazing. She’s an intelligent little girl with an active brain and she just needs to be understood.
“Without the chair she is has to lie flat on the floor for hours at a time, which also means fluid can build up on her lungs, stopping her breathing properly. At the moment I am having to lift her up 30 to 40 times a day to readjust her to try and make her more comfortable and as she can no longer use the iPad, she is very frustrated.
“A new P-Pod will make all the difference – it’s the sole focus of her little world and it enables her to do everything she wants to do.”
With applications for funding increasingly significantly, Newlife is calling for ‘local heroes’ to step forward and help raise the £1,314 needed to provide the specialist chair Georgia needs. If you would like to help Georgia by donating toward the P-Pod, go to the website www.newlifecharity.co.uk/lancashire and click on the Donate button. Alternatively contact the Newlife County Liaison Team on 01543 431 444. Newlife guarantees that 100 per cent of the money donated to the Lancashire fund will help provide specialist equipment for children in the county.
Right now, there are another 21 children with disabilities and terminal illness in Lancashire with equipment needs totalling £24,861. To find out more about Newlife’s work in Lancashire, go to: www.newlifecharity.co.uk/local and click on the map. For full details of Newlife Foundation’s range of practical support for disabled and terminally ill children and their families, call the Newlife Nurse Helpline – 0800 902 0095 (free from UK landlines and mobiles) – or go to: https://newlifecharity.co.uk.
Pictured: Georgia Martin