Six-year-old twins Tommy and Nathan Bulloch can undo their car seats and climb into the front of the car while their horrified mum is driving on the motorway, risking not only their own safety, but putting other drivers in peril too!
The identical twins from the same egg have an extremely rare genetic condition affecting just one in 20 million people, and means they have the development age of toddlers with absolutely no awareness of danger.
Mum Michelle McNair, from Rochester, is literally at her wits end, she said: “The only reason Tommy didn’t open the front passenger door was because I screamed at him to stop. I need someone to travel with me to keep the twins in their car seats, but this isn’t always practical. I have the school run to do and take the twins to regular hospital appointments in London, which results in lots of emergency stops so I can plug them back into their car seats.”
The family’s local health services won’t fund specialist car seats so Michelle and partner Jason Bulloch desperately searched for another way, which is when specialist car seat professionals told them about Newlife.
Newlife is the largest charity provider of children’s disability equipment, and has given Nathan a £781 specialist car seat with covered clips and specialist chest strap, while Tommy’s £852 seat has these plus an extra lock, with a key that Michelle keeps out of his reach.
Michelle added: “I can go out in the car now without panicking about crashing the car if one of the boys climbs out of their seat. I know they are safe and secure for all the day to day journeys we have to do. That’s all I wanted, it’s so small and simple, but it’s something others take for granted.”
Right now, Newlife has nine disabled and terminally ill children in Kent in need of specialist equipment and must raise £9,556 to help them. Newlife has already supported 365 children across Kent.
Newlife’s head of Charity Operations, Stephen Morgan said: Car seats have become essential to daily life for all children to keep them safe. The law insists upon it – unless a child is disabled in which case an exemption can be applied for.
“Why should disabled children be any less entitled to travel in safety? A specialist car seat can cost up to £3,000 which means families can be virtually housebound.
“Tommy and Nathan’s story shows that the right equipment at the right time can make all the difference. It’s great we could help Tommy and Nathan, but there are many others in Kent who need our help too.
“We are calling on local individuals, groups, clubs and companies to get involved and support them. If you think you could help by donating or fundraising, please visit www.newlifecharity.co.uk/kent. Alternatively, contact Suzie or a member of the team on 01543 462777 or email [email protected].”