Three-year-old Evie Murphy, from Wembury near Plymouth, is half a pound in weight away from being too big for her regulation car seat. However, she has severe developmental delay so she can’t use a booster; an expensive special-needs car seat is her only option.
This equipment will cost £1,500 – and with no funding available locally, the family have turned to children’s disability charity Newlife for help. Newlife is the UK’s largest charity provider of specialist equipment for children with disabilities and terminal illness and it is now calling on ‘local heroes’ to help make this happen.
Newlife charity CEO Sheila Brown, OBE, said: “I know this is a busy time for families as they are preparing for their own festive celebrations, but I hope people can spare a minute to consider this Christmas how they could help improve a disabled child’s life.”
Evie’s mum Ami Price-Draper said: “Evie is unable to sit independently, so she uses specialist seating and a buggy when she is at home. In the car she needs additional support for her head and to keep her hips aligned, so a specialist car seat is vital as she gets older.”
The equipment that best suits her needs has a pommel and additional side supports as well as a five-point harness to keep her secure, and a swivel base so her parents can transfer her in and out of the car without catching her legs. Ami said: “Evie has high muscle tone which means her body goes very stiff; when this happens it can be really difficult to get her in and out, so having a seat with a swivel base will make it a much more comfortable experience for her.”
She added: “Evie is about to go over the legal limit for her existing seat, so it is important that we get a suitable replacement in place for her future safety particularly as she is in the car almost every day, including 40 minute journeys to and from her special school.”
If you think you could help Evie, go to www.newlifecharity.co.uk/devon and click on the Donate button next to her story. Alternatively, contact the Newlife County Liaison Team on 01543 431 444, email firstname.lastname@example.org. Newlife has previously provided £443,969 of specialist equipment for 309 disabled and terminally ill children in Devon. The charity guarantees that 100 per cent of monies donated or fundraised in Devon will be used to specifically help children with disabilities and terminal illness in the area. Any money raised beyond what is needed to help Evie will be used to support other children in the county.
Pictured: Evie Murphy