A simple piece of specialist equipment means 15-year-old Dionysios Roussos can make the most of life at home in Barnsley.
Dionysios – known to family and friends as Saki – has a congenital heart and lung condition; he has undergone significant surgery, but no further treatment options are available. Saki still manages to walk very short distance at times but tires very easily. When he stopped being able to self propel his manual wheelchair, mum Sharon found it increasingly difficult to get him out and about because they live in a hilly area.
A request to statutory services for a powered wheelchair was declined because Saki is not well enough to be in full-time education; at the moment he manages a couple of half days a week.
Sharon said: “We were very restricted to where we could go and were increasingly stuck in the house. Saki was desperate to be able to do ‘normal’ things again like help take his dog Tilly for a walk or go shopping, so his physiotherapist at Bluebell Wood hospice recommended we contact Newlife Foundation for Disabled Children.”
Within days, Newlife had delivered a mobility scooter to Saki – and now he is able to get out and about once again.
Saki said: “I think the scooter is fab and I can now go out with Tilly.”
Sharon added: “Saki’s condition is deteriorating, so much so that we have an ‘end of life care package’ in place. But he wants to stay at home as long as possible. This scooter has helped restore a bit of ‘normality’ to his life and being able to do simple things like take Tilly for a walk each day gives him something to look forward to. It’s simple things like this, and being able to pop to the shop at the bottom of the hill, that make such a big difference.”
Newlife is the largest charity provider of specialist equipment for children with disabilities and terminal illness in the UK. It has already provided equipment – like specialist wheelchairs, buggies, beds, walking frames, car seats and communication aids – to 306 children in South Yorkshire, at a cost of £278,423.
The charity is currently working with another 22 families in the area with equipment needs totalling £22,500.
If you think you can help other children like Saki, go to: www.newlifecharity.co.uk/southyorkshire.
To find out more about Newlife’s work in South Yorkshire, go to: www.newlifecharity.co.uk/southyorkshire. Alternatively, contact the Newlife County Liaison Team on 01543 431 444, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
For further information about how you can support families in South Yorkshire, contact Newlife’s Regional Fundraising and Awareness Manager for Yorkshire, Caroline Artschan, on 07534 491 933 or by emailing email@example.com.
Caroline said: “Newlife guarantees that 100 per cent of money raised will go directly to supply essential equipment for children with disabilities or a terminal illness. This will hopefully encourage more people to raise money for children in their local area and help to change young lives. The Newlife guarantee is possible because the charity operates a successful recycling and retail business which underwrites core costs and services.”
Pictured: Dionysios Roussos