One-year-old Oscar Whiteley has complex medical needs which had left him virtually housebound, except for hospital and clinic appointments. Provision of a specialist buggy changed all that.
Oscar, from Colne in Lancashire, has Cerebral Palsy and Epilepsy. His mum Natasha said: “Oscar has poor head and trunk control and the standard buggy we were using to get him out and about just wasn’t working for him. He suffers from reflux and every bump in the ground made him sick. It got to the stage where he hated being in the buggy so we hardly went out. However, Oscar has quite a few medical appointments each week – so we had to use it – and he would be distressed every time.”
Oscar’s occupational therapist recommended that a specialist buggy would help ease his pain – but Natasha was left waiting for a statutory services assessment for the equipment.
Desperate for help when she really needed it, Natasha turned to leading UK children’s disability charity Newlife Foundation. Through Newlife’s emergency equipment loan service ‘Just Can’t Wait’ – which supports families of terminally ill and life-limited children – a £3,000 buggy was delivered to their home within days.
The Whiteleys are one of six families in Lancashire currently being supported by Newlife Foundation through its emergency equipment loan services.
Natasha said: “The Newlife buggy has made a huge difference. Oscar isn’t being sick as much and he is happier about going out.”
The equipment has been particularly helpful in supporting Oscar’s recovery from recent gastrectomy surgery, to remove part of his stomach, the day before his first birthday (which was on Wednesday 10 September).
As well as offering emergency equipment loan services, Newlife provides Equipment Grants for families of disabled and terminally ill children. Last year (2013/14) Newlife awarded 1,303 grants across the UK, totalling £2,088,105 – 85 of these were in Lancashire (£86,649).
Demand across Lancashire for all of Newlife’s services has risen sharply over the last year, so the charity has appointed a regional Awareness and Fundraising Manager to help ensure continued support for families of disabled and terminally ill children in the county.
David Reeves is an experienced charity fundraiser. He said: “What attracted me to Newlife Foundation is the guarantee that 100 per cent of all funds donated or raised go directly to buy specialist equipment for children in need. People can designate which county their money is used in and because of the charity’s transparent accountability I can tell everyone exactly how their funds have been spent.”
David is keen to hear from any local individuals, social and community groups or business organisations which might consider supporting Newlife Foundation in Lancashire, either through fundraising or volunteering activities. He can be contacted on 07854 425 273 or by emailing [email protected].
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) – or go to:
Pictured: Oscar Whiteley.
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