In the true spirit of Christmas, a mystery donor has responded to the urgent appeal to help 16-year-old Akira Jackson, as featured in the December 3 edition of The Bournemouth Echo.
Now Akira, from Broadstone, can look forward to a fun-filled 2016, thanks to the donor who has contributed the outstanding £2,025 of the total £2,135 cost for mobile hoist so he can get out and about more with his family.
Akira has quadriplegic cerebral palsy, hip dislocation and curvature of the spine. He needs to be hoisted for all transfers in and out of his wheelchair, which means the Jacksons can never go out for more than three or four hours at a time because they have to get Akira back home, where they have a ceiling track hoist, so he can use the toilet.
Dad Matt Jackson said: “I have a couple of slipped discs from carrying Akira over the years and my wife just isn’t strong enough to safely lift him. His condition means we have to be very careful when we are handling him, so a hoist is the only safe solution – for everyone.
“We need a portable hoist to take out and about with us, so we can all go out together as a family for more than a few short hours. Not only will it give Akira an improved quality of life, but will make a real difference to our other children too. Nobody thinks about the effects these limitations have on them.”
Local statutory services have provided the ceiling track hoist for the family in their Dorset home so are unable to offer a portable alternative as well.
This prompted Matt to turn to leading UK children’s disability charity Newlife Foundation – the UK’s largest charity provider of specialist equipment for children with disabilities and terminal illness – for help. Newlife has already funded 99 Equipment Grants totalling £123,093 for disabled and terminally ill children in Dorset.
But as statutory cuts continue, Newlife is seeing a surge in demand for its range of equipment provision services.
If you would like to help other children in Dorset like Akira, go to www.newlifecharity.co.uk/dorset and click on the Donate button. Alternatively, you could contact the Newlife County Liaison Team on 01543 431 444, email firstname.lastname@example.org for fundraising information. Newlife pledges that 100 per cent of all donations will be spent on equipment for children with disabilities and terminal illness in your county area.
Pictured: Akira Jackson