Latest Newlife News

HELPING SYLWIA TO STAND TALL

A Northamptonshire teenager with Cerebral Palsy, who recently had surgery to stabilise her hips, is to receive a standing frame from the UK’s leading children’s disability charity to aid her recovery.

Fourteen-year-old Sylwia Suchecka lives in Daventry with her parents, Marzena and Dariusz Komisarczuk, her six-year-old brother Oscar and baby sister Jessica. She relies on a power wheelchair to get around as she has rigid tense muscles in both arms and legs and weakness down her right side.

Although Sylwia was previously able to sit without support and crawl, she lost those abilities after the muscles in her hips and knees began to tighten and her hips became dislocated, leaving her needing surgery to release the muscles and stabilise her hips. Professionals involved in Sylwia’s care told her parents that a standing frame would promote healing of the hip joints after surgery to release the muscles and stabilise her hips. In the long-term the frame will also keep her in an upright position to aid her respiratory and digestive systems and also help her establish good posture and movements.

Sylwia’s dad Dariusz said his daughter hadn’t been able to use a standing frame at home in the past because they lacked the necessary space and had no access to a hoist, so they had an extension built on their home in December 2012. However they were unable to afford the £4,363 cost of the standing frame.

When Marzena and Dariusz were told Sylwia’s would need surgery, her physiotherapist advised them to contact Newlife Foundation – the largest charity funder of children’s specialist disability equipment in the UK – for help. The charity was able to fast-track the application so Sylwia will soon have the equipment she needs.

Dad Dariusz said: “Sylwia’s surgery went well, the doctor said we couldn’t have hoped for better. The standing frame will help with her posture and help her breathe better as well as strengthening her legs and letting her stretch her muscles. Having one at home means she will be able to use it on a daily basis. It even comes with a tray that Sylwia can use to do homework or play.

“We are very pleased and happy Sylwia will have the standing frame to help with her recovery – without Newlife this wouldn’t be possible.”

Marzena and Dariusz are so pleased with the support their daughter has received from Newlife that they are now backing an appeal – launched by the charity last month (March) – to help provide more specialist equipment for children with disabilities in Northamptonshire.

The Newlife Northamptonshire Fund –www.newlifecharity.co.uk/northamptonshire – is an opportunity for local people to help local disabled children and every penny donated or fundraised in Northamptonshire is guaranteed to support vulnerable families in the county.

Right now, there are another seven children with disabilities or terminal illness in Northamptonshire who need your help to get the specialist equipment that will really change their lives.

Newlife Head of Operations Stephen Morgan said: “Newlife has already helped 151 children in Northamptonshire through equipment grants and loans totalling more than £197,394, so we know there is a very real need for a specific county fund. In this way we aim to help more children, more quickly.”

Vitally, the Newlife Northamptonshire Fund website –www.newlifecharity.co.uk/northamptonshire – enables local people to find out who needs help in their county right now and highlight the support the charity gives vulnerable families. It 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 local disabled children and their families.

That might involve taking part in a local sporting challenge, give you information on how to organise a fundraising event – or even ask you to donate £5 today! Volunteers are also needed to help raise awareness of what we do and how we do it.

Newlife hopes that by launching the Newlife Northamptonshire Fund, disabled and terminally ill children in the county won’t have to go without the equipment they need for everyday life.

Pictured: Sylwia Suchecka

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