Twelve-year-old Harry Price from Fordingbridge loves going to the movies and youths clubs with his friends – but he can no longer do this as he has outgrown his powered wheelchair which allows him to do so much. Local heroes are needed in Hampshire to help Harry get a new powered wheelchair that will enable him to thrive at school and home.
Harry requires help with all aspects of his life, his condition is degenerative and he has started losing his mobility skills. He had a fall a few weeks ago and fractured his leg, this resulted in him having a seizure which has left him with no mobility – Harry is currently undergoing tests as medics are unsure if the loss of mobility is due to the fracture or a conditional change.
Harry needs a new powered wheelchair that will ensure independent mobility for him while at school and home. He has access to a manual wheelchair however this will take away the only independence he has – he will have to start relying on those around him at school a lot more than he does now.
Mum Catherine Willans said: “Harry has outgrown his current wheelchair which he has had for five years, it does not cater to his needs as it once did. Having the wheelchair refurbished is not financially viable because it is no longer durable and always breaks down.
“The batteries can register empty after thirty minutes even when charged – the batteries are quite expensive so I am unable to replace them constantly. We have limited social activities as the chair can die at any time.”
The powered wheelchair Harry needs costs £19,663 but this is way beyond the family’s budget which is why they have turned to Newlife, the UK’s largest charitable provider of essential equipment to meet the specialist needs of children with disabilities and terminal illness.
Harry’s family has already put £1,000 towards the chair and his school has raised £1,468 leaving an outstanding amount of £17,195.
Catherine added: “The battery life in his current wheelchair will just about last a whole school day so by the time he comes home he is not able to use it. The new powered chair will allow him to attend school and after school activities as it will have an extended battery life. Harry is at that age now where he wants to socialise with his friends, he loves going to the movies and has started going to youth clubs and without a new powered wheelchair this will not be possible.
“Harry has to rely on people to manoeuvre his current footplate, however the new chair will allow him to move the footplates automatically. Harry has to constantly ask for help which has started alienate him, the powered wheelchair will allow him to do more things independently. With a tray for Harry to work and eat off and a fold-back controller the new powered wheelchair Harry needs would create lots more opportunities for him.”
Right now, Harry’s family is just one of 17 in the county who need equipment totalling £60,986. That’s why Newlife has a dedicated Hampshire Fund – www.newlifecharity.co.uk/Hampshire which gives local people the opportunity to help local disabled children. Every penny donated or fundraised in Hampshire is guaranteed to support families in the county.
To specifically support Harry, go the website and click on the Donate button beside his story.
The Newlife Hampshire Fund supports equipment provision for under-19s facing any significant disability, whether acquired through birth defect, prematurity, accident or illness. Newlife has provided 396 families in Hampshire with disability equipment – including beds, wheelchairs, seating and sensory aids – worth over £615,084. However, the demand is still high.
The website includes contact details for the Newlife County Liaison Team – tel no 01543 431 444 or email [email protected] – and shows specific ways people can help support children with disability and terminal illness and their families in the county.
Pictured: Harry Price