Four-year-old Molly McCotter from Rathfriland was in severe pain every day. She is unable to walk, talk or lift her head and finds the slightest touch unbearable, even cuddles from her mum.
Molly has a form of Cerebral Palsy which means her muscles spasm uncontrollably, she also experiences constant seizures and needs 24-hour oxygen. Her days were spent in a specialist chair, but she developed severe pressure sores that wouldn’t heal. She desperately needed specialist equipment called an Acheeva, which is similar to a small bed, but is mobile and can be used in multiple positions so she can be moved without being lifted and causing her further pain
Mum Sandra said: “Molly’s pressure sores were out of control and she was taking morphine just to keep her from being in too much pain when we moved her. We knew the Acheeva would help to keep her comfortable as well as let her pressure sores heal and help her respiratory function.”
But as the Acheeva costs £5,436, Molly’s family turned to Newlife the Charity for Disabled Children, which is the largest UK charity providing specialist equipment for children with disabilities and terminal illness. The charity was quickly able to provide the Acheeva to help relieve some of Molly’s pain thanks to their partnership with fashion store chain River Island and its ‘fantastic plastic initiative’. This sees the profit from every five pence carrier bag sold at its UK stores go to Newlife to directly fund vital equipment.
Sandra said: “The Acheeva is the best thing ever. I can easily keep repositioning Molly now throughout the day, without causing her pain. Without a doubt it has made Molly more comfortable, she isn’t getting as many infections and the pressure sores she has are more manageable. We couldn’t be without it now.”
She added: “Molly knows my voice and when she’s not in pain, she will smile at me. When she does this it makes my day!”
Newlife’s head of Charity Operations, Stephen Morgan said: “We really want to help these children, so we are calling on local individuals, groups, clubs and companies to get involved and support them.”