There can be nothing more heart-breaking for a parent than learning your child has a life limiting condition. Sarah Parnell’s son Bobby Bolton, aged four, has a serious condition affecting his brain, severe epilepsy, breathing difficulties and requires postural support and round the clock care. The family, from Felixstowe in Suffolk, want Bobby to be as comfortable as possible, but as their local statutory services have already provided him with a functional place to sit, they are unable to provide a relaxing and supportive seat for him.
Desperate for her son to have some comfort, Sarah contacted Newlife Foundation for Disabled Children – the UK’s largest charitable provider of essential equipment to meet the specialist needs of children with disabilities and terminal illness. Newlife is now asking local heroes to see if they are able to help raise the £2,714 needed to buy Bobby a comfortable chair.
Sarah said: “Although Bobby has a functional seat that was provided by statutory services, it isn’t very comfy and he can only really sit in it for about half an hour. Other than that, he has his wheelchair, but again he can only be in it for short periods of time and doesn’t like it if it is stationary – he prefers to be moving.
“Because Bobby is prone to chest infections he needs to be kept in a more upright position – at the moment, the only other option is for him to be in bed as it has a profiling base – but that means he is away from the rest of the family. Sometimes we put him on the sofa but that just isn’t practical for him if he has a seizure.”
The special seating will also allow Bobby to sit comfortably outside – his family are currently working on a sensory garden for him so it is hoped that he will be able to enjoy the warmer weather.
Bobby is just one of 5 children in Suffolk who are in need of vital specialist equipment, totalling £3,454 – Newlife Foundation has already provided £100,943 worth of equipment to 77 children in this county alone. To meet the growing need, Newlife established the Newlife Suffolk Fund – www.newlifecharity.co.uk/suffolk – giving local people the chance to help local disabled children like Bobby, and every penny fundraised or donated in Suffolk is guaranteed to support families in the county. The Newlife Suffolk Fund supports equipment provision for under-19s facing any significant disability whether acquired through birth defect, prematurity, accident or illness.
Newlife guarantees that 100 percent of the money donated or fundraised for Bobby will go towards his special seating and any surplus funds will towards helping a disabled or terminally ill child in the Suffolk area.
Further information about the Newlife Suffolk Fund – and how specifically to donate or fundraise to help Bobby – can be found by going to www.newlifecharity.co.uk/suffolk or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Telephone donations can be made by calling 01543 462777.
Pictured: Bobby Bolton