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Specialist seating has made a big difference to a life-limited seven-year-old from Scunthorpe who experiences around 30 seizures each day. Now, instead of trying to rest on the family sofa, he can recover in comfort and safety with all the extra support he needs.

Blake has a rare form of epilepsy called Dravet Syndrome which has resulted in him experiencing 14 different types of seizures – including one which can last for up to a week and another which makes him hallucinate and scream. His condition has affected his learning and communication abilities as well as his physical abilities as he has weak and floppy muscles throughout his body and limited head control. Blake also has Autism and as a result of this has no safety awareness.

The specialist chair, known as a PPod, is essentially a giant beanbag with a specially moulded seat attached which keeps Blake fully supported and able to relax after a seizure. He also needs to be tube fed a milk feed several times each day, and the chair has proven the ideal place for him to receive this.

The PPod has already made daily life at home much easier for Blake and his parents, Donna and Dan, who also have three other children; Keira aged nine, eight-year-old Emilie and four-year-old Zachary – who also has the same condition.

Donna said: “Before the PPod we only had the sofa to put him on and it wasn’t safe for Blake, or comfortable and it really wasn’t good for his posture as he would just slump to the side. Blake wears a helmet at school and uses a wheelchair when we are out to keep him safe and he is very tired after a seizure so he needs to rest.”

As the family’s local statutory services were unable to help fund the £1,746 PPod, Donna and Dan turned to Newlife Foundation.

Donna added: “Having somewhere we know he is safe and can’t hurt himself is very important. Thank God we have this seat.”

Pictured: Blake McHugh


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