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SITTING COMFORTABLY? YOU COULD HELP RHIANNON DO THE SAME . . .

Two-year-old Rhiannon Seaton from Thrapston needs your help so she can relax at home in comfort and safety.

Rhiannon has Cerebral Palsy which means she has no conscious movement in her limbs and poor head control. She also has Epilepsy which results in frequent seizures, is fed through a gastrostomy tube in her stomach and suffers gastric reflux.

Statutory services have provided her with a formal high chair, but she is not able to sit in this for more than an hour at a time because she becomes too uncomfortable. The only option is to put her on the family sofa, propped up with cushions. But with three other young children to look after as well, mum Emma Pollock-Clarke knows Rhiannon’s safety is compromised and she is often sick because she is not properly supported.

Emma said: “For instance, when I am cooking in the kitchen I prefer Rhiannon to be with me in her high chair rather than propped up on the sofa where I can’t see her. Unfortunately, she can only tolerate about an hour in this seat, which means she is then too upset to sit at the table to eat with the family. And if she is uncomfortable there is more chance of her having a seizure. It’s a vicious circle.”

Rhiannon’s health team suggested a specialist P-Pod for her – a seat moulded to Rhiannon’s body shape to offer her appropriate postural support and increased comfort as well as reduce the incidence of gastric reflux. However, there is no statutory funding available for this type of seating, which will cost £1,001.

This prompted Emma to turn to leading UK children’s disability charity Newlife Foundation for help. Newlife has funded 87 Equipment Grants for disabled and terminally ill children in Northamptonshire, totalling £146,166.

However, the demand for Newlife services has shot up in recent months and the charity is appealing to ‘local heroes’ to come forward to fundraise or donate towards the cost of equipment for children in the county. Newlife is currently working with two families in Northamptonshire, with equipment needs totalling £9,122.

If you would like to help raise money to fund a specialist seat for Rhiannon, the Newlife Community Fundraising Team can be contacted on freephone 0800 988 4640. Any individual or organisation thinking of running a fundraising event is asked to contact the team, who can offer support and guidance. Alternatively, go to: https://www.justgiving.com/RhiannonSeaton.

Any money raised surplus to Rhiannon’s requirements will be used to fund equipment for other children in Northamptonshire.

Newlife CEO Sheila Brown, OBE, said: “Newlife guarantees that 100 per cent of any gift or donation will go directly to provide equipment for disabled and terminally ill children – and donors can ring-fence their money to a specific county.”

For full details of the charity’s range of practical support families for disabled and terminally ill children and their families, call the Newlife Nurse Helpline – freephone 0800 902 0095 – or go to: https://newlifecharity.co.uk 

Pictured: Rhiannon Seaton with mum Emma.

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