Two-year-old Darcey Holmes from Aylesbury can’t walk so needs a specialist buggy to get out and about. She regularly suffers from chest infections, often being hospitalised for days at a time so must be kept warm and dry at all times. However, when her buggy arrived from statutory services it didn’t come with the right accessories and was therefore useless.
Darcey has rare brain and genetic conditions, her muscles are weak and floppy and she is fed by a tube into her tummy. She has to take medical equipment with her when she leaves home and needs a basket for the buggy to carry everything, as well as a suitable rain cover and canopy to keep her warm and dry. Without these vital accessories the buggy was completely unusable by Darcey and her family.
Darcey was hospitalised four times last winter, so her parents were worried about the weather getting colder. The £627 cost was more than they could quickly fund themselves. Fern said: “I just never imagined the buggy accessories would be as expensive as they are. Without them she is just exposed to the elements, so we couldn’t go out.”
In desperation they contacted Newlife the Charity for Disabled Children, the largest UK charity providing specialist equipment for disabled and terminally ill children. The charity recognised the urgency of the situation and was quickly able to deliver the buggy accessories Darcey needed.
Fern said: “It was perfect timing as the weather is really starting to get cold now. Darcey has a lot of medical appointments and although we don’t live far away from our local hospital, it was difficult to take her there in the buggy without the accessories.”
“Life is much easier now, we can just take Darcey wherever we need to go, knowing that she will be nice and warm. We aren’t so dependent on the weather and she won’t be affected by wind, rain and cold. Darcey is still prone to chest infections but now we have peace of mind that she will be wrapped up warm every time we go out, which should limit the number of hospital stays over the coming winter.
“As a family we are really looking forward to taking Darcey to the zoo. We had planned to go in September but were unable as the weather had started to change. Now we have the accessories for the buggy we can go out for her belated second birthday.”
Newlife’s Head of Charity Operations Stephen Morgan says: “It’s great we could help Darcey, but right now the charity is working with four disabled and terminally ill children in Buckinghamshire in need of specialist equipment and must raise £8,303 to help them too.
“We really want to help change the lives of these children and their families, so we are calling on local individuals, groups, clubs and companies to get involved and support them too.”