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A 13-year-old girl with Cerebral Palsy has been given a new lease of life thanks to a portable hoist.

Jodie Martinez, who lives in Coventry, was diagnosed with Quadriplegic Cerebral Palsy after contracting meningitis at just three-weeks-old.

The youngster also has epilepsy and very limited mobility so relies on a wheelchair to get around.

Although she has the equipment at home to go to the toilet, day trips and family visits would have to either be nearby or cut short to get Jodie back for calls of nature.

But now, thanks to the leading charity Newlife Foundation for Disabled Children, Jodie can travel far and wide in comfort after being given a portable hoist.

The battery-powered hoist can be folded into an easy-to-carry case and when assembled, stands alone to lift Jodie from her wheelchair.

Mum Bev Jones said the hoist, which cost £2,095, has made a “huge difference.”

Bev said: “Both Jodie and I absolutely love it. It’s so quick and easy to use and means we can go on days out and visit relatives again.

“Jodie is a growing girl so it was getting harder and harder to help her out of her wheelchair when we were out. You do really need two people and this hoist is like having another pair of hands. It’s absolutely amazing.”

Bev said the equipment means Jodie no longer has to miss out on fun activities.

“As a family we were becoming more and more restricted,” she said.

“Jodie was missing out on activities she loves. I can now take her on days out that she really enjoys. We are even thinking of going away as a family for a little holiday which we haven’t done for years.”

Bev turned to Newlife after being refused funding for a portable hoist by statutory services. Newlife has funded 142 pieces of specialist equipment for disabled and terminally ill children in Warwickshire costing £183,973.

However, a recent surge in demand for services has prompted Newlife to call for ‘local heroes’ to come forward to fundraise or donate towards the cost of specialist equipment for children in the county.

If you would like to donate or raise money to help fund these urgently needed items, the Newlife Community Fundraising Team can be contacted on freephone 0800 988 4640. Any individual or organisation thinking of running a fundraising event is asked to contact the team, who can offer support and guidance. Pictured: Jodie Martinez

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