Four-year-old Codi Wild, from Newcastle-under-Lyme, has a complex condition that includes Hydrocephalus, with a shunt in situ, visual impairment and learning disabilities. Combined with the fact that he is already four feet tall and weighs five stone, he needs care 24/7.
For his own safety, he had been sleeping in a travel cot screwed to the floor. But after he managed to turn it over by repeated rocking, his mum Samantha Litchfield realised she needed specialist help.
Samantha said: “How Codi didn’t hurt himself and end up in hospital I just don’t know. It was a miracle. Our only next option was a mattress on the floor, but he doesn’t sleep much more than two hours a night and it wouldn’t have been safe to leave him on his own. Codi has no awareness of danger and little awareness of pain so you never know what he’s going to do next.
“Codi’s occupational therapist contacted Newlife Foundation for Disabled Children – and within days we had a specialist bed installed. It is an amazing piece of equipment and has been a godsend.
“Codi’s condition means he sits and bangs against the side of the bed and because he has a shunt it’s so important that he’s safe – but because it is fully padded he can’t hurt himself. And he can’t tip it over.
“He absolutely loves the bed – it has a lot of room for him to move around in and he likes to go into it to play. He feels safe in there and I have peace of mind knowing he is safe and happy.”
Newlife Foundation is the UK’s largest charity funder of specialist equipment for children with disabilities and terminal illness.Newlife provided the equipment for Codi through its Emergency Bed Loan service, which offers support for children sleeping in unsafe environments, those who have life-threatening conditions or are in need of additional support to leave hospital.
Beds are delivered direct to families’ homes on six-month loans, which gives Newlife time to work with local statutory services to explore avenues of public funding for long-term equipment or – if this is not successful – provide it through the Newlife Equipment Grant service.
Samantha is so pleased with the support she has received from Newlife that she is now backing an appeal – launched by the charity last month (March) – to help provide more specialist equipment for children with disabilities in Staffordshire.
The Newlife Staffordshire Fund –www.newlifecharity.co.uk/staffordshire – is an opportunity for local people to help local disabled children and every penny donated or fundraised in Staffordshire is guaranteed to support vulnerable families in the county.
Right now, there are another 43 children with disabilities or terminal illness in Staffordshire who need your help to get the specialist equipment that will really change their lives.
Newlife Head of Operations Stephen Morgan said: “Newlife has already helped 701 children in Staffordshire through equipment grants and loans totalling more than £893,000, so we know there is a very real need for a specific county fund. In this way we aim to help more children, more quickly.”
Vitally, the Newlife Staffordshire Fund website –www.newlifecharity.co.uk/staffordshire – will enable local people to find out who needs help in their county right now and highlight the support the charity gives vulnerable families. It includes contact details for the Newlife County Liaison Team – tel no 01543 431 444 or email [email protected] – and shows specific ways people can help support local disabled children and their families.
That might involve taking part in a local sporting challenge, give you information on how to organise a fundraising event – or even ask you to donate £5 today! Volunteers are also needed to help raise awareness of what we do and how we do it.
Newlife hopes that by launching the Newlife Staffordshire Fund, disabled and terminally ill children in the county won’t have to go without the equipment they need for everyday life.
Pictured: Codi Wild