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A Minehead couple could only make quick, necessary car journeys with their two-year-old son as he needs to be in just the right position so his airway isn’t restricted. However, thanks to Newlife Foundation for Disabled Children providing a specialist car seat, he is now safe so they have the freedom to go wherever they want.

Lorcan Lennon-Patience has Achondroplasia, which is the most common cause of shortened growth, otherwise known as dwarfism. As well as having shorter limbs and a larger head, children with this condition can develop a curvature of the spine, so he needs to be kept in an upright position, which would also help prevent his head slumping forward and protect his airway.

Lorcan’s parents Siobhan and Stephen had only a standard car seat for him, but due to the risks to his health they felt they couldn’t travel very far, which meant even the 45 minute journey to attend hospital appointments proved difficult while visiting friends and family who didn’t live nearby was impossible to contemplate.

Mum Siobhan said: “Lorcan is a very lively and active two year old – he just happens to have Achondroplasia. He is fun loving and enjoys everything his peers do, he just needs extra help, especially when it comes to seating. In his standard car seat we were worried as he would slump forward and stop breathing. Once we were heading to Exeter from our home and had to divert to hospital because of his breathing. After that we didn’t feel like we could go anywhere.”

As Newlife has already provided specialist seating for Lorcan, the family approached them for help once more and the charity was able to provide the £462 specialist car seat. Now his car seat has all the extra padding and support to keep him upright in a straight position, which protects his spine, stops him slumping forward and ensures he is really comfortable.

Siobhan added: “The car seat has made a world of difference to Lorcan and we don’t have the worry about his breathing. The car seat can recline if he needs to sleep and a turntable base also makes it easier to get him in and out of the car.

“Steven’s mum lives in London, so we haven’t seen her very much, but because we have this car seat we will be able to go and see her soon. We can also go to visit support groups and other families who have children with Achondroplasia, which is important as we want Lorcan to grow up knowing others with the same condition. Newlife have just been amazing for us!”

Newlife has provided £252,780 of equipment for 193 children in Somerset and the charity is currently working with a further 13 families in Somerset with combined equipment needs of £5,541. If you think you could fundraise or donate to help a local child, call our County Liaison Team on 01543 431 444 or email – giving local people the chance to help local disabled children like Lorcan, and every penny fundraised or donated in Somerset is guaranteed to support families in the county. The Newlife Somerset Fund supports equipment provision for under 19s facing any significant disability whether acquired through birth defect, prematurity, accident or illness.

Further information about the Newlife Somerset Fund can be found by going to or emailing Telephone donations can be made by calling 01543 462777.

Pictured: Lorcan Lennon-Patience