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‘LOCAL HEROES’ NEEDED TO GET BEHIND FUNDRAISING APPEAL FOR EIGHT-YEAR-OLD JACK

Specialist seating is urgently needed for eight-year-old Jack Weir from Corstorphine in Edinburgh.

Jack already has Cerebral Palsy, which affects his mobility, and Epilepsy. In addition, he has recently been diagnosed with Scoliosis, resulting in a 60 degree curve in his spine.

Mum Elaine Weir said: “We originally wanted a specialist PPod chair for Jack because it would offer him comfortable supported seating at home. Propping him up on the sofa with cushions isn’t really appropriate because he could easily fall off and hurt himself and the only alternative is functional seating like his wheelchair. We were hoping a PPod would give him somewhere cosy to relax at home with the family.”

She added: “However, since the recent diagnosis of Scoliosis and the effect that the condition is having on his spine, all of a sudden it has become even more important as Jack now needs the specialist seating to help reduce further health problems.”

With statutory funding not available, the family has turned to Newlife Foundation for Disabled Children for help in providing a PPod, at a cost of £1,508. Newlife is the leading charity funder of specialist disability equipment for children with disabilities and terminal illness in the UK.

With the PPod being on wheels, Jack could be safely lifted into it using the ceiling track hoist fitted in his bedroom and then wheeled to other parts of the house – and even out into the garden. Elaine said: “Not having to constantly lift him manually into and out of a seat would be a huge relief to his dad and I.”

As Newlife faces an increasing number of applications for support from across the UK, the charity is looking to ‘local heroes’ who can help families in their area.

If you think you can help Jack, go to: www.newlifecharity.co.uk/cityofedinburgh and click on the ‘Donate Now’ button. Or contact the Newlife County Liaison Team – telephone number 01543 431 444.

Newlife guarantees that 100 per cent of the money donated to help Jack will be used to fund his PPod. Any surplus funding will help provide equipment for other disabled children in the Edinburgh area. The ‘Newlife guarantee’ is possible because the charity operates a successful recycling and retail business, the profits of which underwrite core costs, including administration.

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: www.newlifecharity.co.uk

Pictured: Jack Weir

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