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RESPITE RISK FOR FIVE-YEAR-OLD ISLA

It’s too dangerous for Horfield five-year-old Isla McGuiness to go to vital respite care as she simply has nowhere safe to sleep.

Isla can’t walk or talk and has no awareness of danger, so caring for her can be exhausting, especially as machines beep overnight as she’s fed through a tube. At home a specialist bed means she can’t wander unsupervised, but she has learned to overturn the travel cot she used when staying over at her grandparents’ home, putting her at risk of serious injury.

Respite care is essential for Isla to have a break and gives parents, Emily and Luke, chance to rest and enjoy quality time with their son, Oscar, nine. The family have spent hundreds of pounds on high street travel cots to keep Isla from being injured, but the only suitable option is a £3,895 specialist travel bed.

As their local statutory services don’t fund this, the family turned to Newlife the Charity for Disabled Children for help. Newlife is now calling on local heroes to help raise the necessary funds.

Emily said: “Isla’s always full of energy, but all she can communicate to us is yes or no so she gets very frustrated. We don’t get much sleep, so respite is our chance to rest.

“Isla loves to stay with her grandparents and enjoys trips away. It allows her to explore and see new things, which helps her development. Without a way to stay away from home overnight it will mean her life is very restricted.”

Right now, Newlife has six disabled and terminally ill children in Somerset in need of specialist equipment and must raise £7,805 to help them. Newlife has already supported 227 children in Somerset.

Newlife’s Head of Charity Operations Stephen Morgan says: “We really want to help change Isla’s life, and those of the other children in Somerset who need our help. We are calling on local people groups, clubs and companies to get involved, donate or fundraise for Newlife so that these children can get what they need.”

Any funds raised above what is needed for Isla will be used to help other disabled and terminally ill children in Somerset.

We work together every day to make a difference and create a better future for disabled children.

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