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A simple piece of specialist equipment means nine-year-old Anya Bhatti has somewhere to sit at home where she can be safe and that helps reduce the risk of choking.

Anya, from Stetchford, has a degenerative condition that affects her mobility. In addition she has a hearing impairment, scoliosis and intermittent seizures.

With her condition deteriorating, Anya spends an increasing amount of time at home and needed somewhere secure and comfortable to sit. Being propped up on the family settee with cushions was not helping her spinal condition and there was always a risk that she could slump backwards and choke or have a seizure and fall.

With help from Anya’s occupational therapist, her parents turned to locally based national charity Newlife Foundation for Disabled Children for help.

Newlife, based in Cannock, is the UK’s largest provider of specialist equipment for children with disabilities and terminal illness. It has supported 1,057 children in the West Midlands, with equipment grants and loans totalling more than £1,165,000.

Through its emergency equipment loan service, Newlife quickly provided Anya with a specialist chair. Mum Farhat Bhatti said: “We had been looking for a chair that would help keep Anya safe, but also be comfortable for her – and seating from ‘normal’ shops just isn’t suitable.

“This equipment from Newlife is perfect; it is just the right size for Anya and it helps support her back problems. The chair keeps her upright, so she is less likely to choke and, because it is on wheels, I can take Anya around the house with me – so, for instance, I can keep an eye on her when I am cooking. It is such a great help, especially as her condition is worsening.”

If you would like to help more children in the West Midlands like Anya, go to: and donate. Alternatively, you could contact the Newlife County Liaison Team on 01543 431 444, email for fundraising information. Newlife pledges that 100 per cent of all donations will be spent on equipment for children with disabilities and terminal illness in your county area.

Newlife is currently working with a further 56 families in the West Midlands, with equipment needs totalling £49,407.

For full details of Newlife Foundation’s range of practical support for disabled and terminally ill children and their families, call the Newlife Nurse Helpline – 0800 902 0095 (free from UK landlines and mobiles) – or go to:

Pictured: Anya Bhatti