Nine-year-old Theo has a complex health condition which means he has to be repositioned every two hours, day and night, to help relieve chronic pain which is made worse by pressure sores.
But now, thanks to fabulous fundraisers in Derbyshire working with Newlife Foundation for Disabled Children, he is getting a hi-tech piece of equipment which will help reduce the pressure sores – and the pain.
Theo Singh-Eyley, from New Tupton, Chesterfield, has Quadriplegic Cerebral Palsy and is unable to move independently. He is fed through a tube into his bowel and has access to an intravenous pain relief pump 24/7 as well as oxygen when he needs it. Recently, Theo has been spending much of his time confined to bed, only using a wheelchair to access hospital appointments. But his mum wants to get him back at the heart of the family.
While recovering from major surgery at a local hospice, Theo was able to use a piece of equipment called an Acheeva. It is a cross between a bed, wheelchair and therapy table – and Theo loved it! Mum Denise Singh-Eyley said: “He used the Acheeva all day, every day for a whole week and he didn’t have any issues with pressure sores at all. Although we still had to reposition him every two hours to help maintain good posture, he was much more comfortable and was much happier.”
With no funding available from local statutory services for this equipment, Denise contacted Newlife Foundation for Disabled Children. Newlife is the UK’s largest charity provider of specialist equipment for children with disabilities and terminal illness. The charity had previously provided Theo with specialist seating when he was well enough to use this.
Denise said: “This new piece of equipment will be a godsend – I can’t begin to explain the huge difference it will make to Theo’s quality of life. The equipment is mobile, so we can move it around the house so Theo can be at the heart of the family. Not only that, but it will fit in our wheelchair adapted vehicle so he won’t have use his uncomfortable wheelchair to get to hospital any more. It might even enable him to get back into school more often. He was only well enough to go to school about 50 days last year and he really misses all the activities and his friends.”
Organisations involved in helping Newlife to fund the equipment – which cost £5,026 – include Derbyshire-based Forest Holidays, the University of Derby, NCS Derby and the Derby Craft Group as well as a number of individual donors. Newlife guarantees that every penny goes directly towards funding specialist equipment for children in a donor’s designated county area.
Newlife has funded equipment totalling £277,630 for 320 children in Derbyshire and – right now – is working with a further 11 families with combined equipment needs of £5,068. If you would like to find out how Newlife supports families in the county, and how you can help, go to:
www.newlifecharity.co.uk/derbyshire. The website includes contact details for the Newlife County Liaison Team – 01543 431 444 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Pictured: Theo Singh-Eyley.