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When six-year-old Jack who has Attention Deficit Disorder was able to unstrap himself from his car seat during a journey, mum Katrina knew he was not only putting his life at risk, but the lives of other passengers and the driver too. Thanks to Newlife Foundation for Disabled Children, Jack has since been able to get a new travel harness so everyone in the car is safe.

Jack McMahon from Barnsley, South Yorkshire, has developmental delay, hearing loss, low muscle tone and displays challenging behaviour. He has given his family a fright on several occasions being able to get out of his booster seat, sometimes taking his frustrations out on those in the car. Having no awareness of danger, Jack has even tried to open the car door while his mum is driving.

Mum Katrina McMahon said: “Jack sits in a booster seat at the moment, he used to take his seatbelt off all the time. He was able to stand up and move around in the car which was very dangerous while I’m driving. When he would get upset he would unstrap himself and kick off in the car – I would constantly have to pull over to strap him back in. It became so bad that his dad and I would avoid going out because we knew what the journeys would be like.”

With the specialist equipment costing £160, and no statutory funding available, the McMahon family turned to Newlife Foundation – the UK’s leading charity funder of specialist equipment for children with disabilities and terminal illness. Because of the seriousness of the situation Jack was fast-tracked and within days he received his new travel harness.

Now Jack can travel in safety, Katrina has peace of mind knowing he will not be putting himself or anyone else in the car at risk – with summer around the corner the family will be out and about visiting family and friends so the harness couldn’t have come at a better time.

Katrina added: “The harness has been a great help; he is now unable to get out of his booster seat. Car journeys are no longer a hassle because I do not need to continuously stop and start. He still gets upset sometimes, however the harness stops him from getting out so if he does have a moment it is contained to where he is sitting.”

Right now there are currently a further 19 families in South Yorkshire with equipment needs of £47,571. Through equipment grants and loans Newlife has supported 354 families in the county, with expenditure totalling £320,373. If you would like to find out how you could help other children in South Yorkshire like Jack – or just want more information about Newlife Foundation – go to: Alternatively, contact the Newlife County Liaison Team on 01543 431 444, email

Newlife guarantees that 100 per cent of monies donated or fundraised in the county will be used to specifically help children with disabilities and terminal illness in the county.

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:

Pictured: Jack McMahon