As parents Emily Lewis and Nathan Fitzpatrick prepare for their fragile young son’s discharge from Stepping Hill Hospital in Stockport, they realised that not all of the specialist equipment they will need to help care for Noah at home is available through local statutory services.
Noah, who is ten months old, has a condition which affects his brain and as a result has no voluntary movements and needs specialist equipment at all times to keep him comfortable and safe.
Noah is currently allowed home to Cheadle Heath for a few short hours each day, and key to the family being able to get him home permanently are a specialist car seat – to keep him safe during trips to hospital and clinic appointments – and seating to make sure he is comfortable and appropriately positioned to help keep his lungs well drained. Sitting unsupported can lead to additional health problems.
Emily said: “We are currently working with the hospital on a discharge plan for Noah; he will need 24-hour care at home. It came as a surprise to find out how much specialist disability equipment actually costs, what statutory services will offer and what we will need to get ourselves.”
This prompted the family to turn to leading UK children’s disability charity Newlife Foundation for help. Newlife has awarded 158 Equipment Grants totalling £153,166 for children in Greater Manchester.
Recognising the urgency of the situation, Newlife has fast-tracked the family’s £886 application and the equipment for Noah is due to arrive next month (February).
The charity is currently working with a further nine families in the Greater Manchester area, with equipment needs totalling £33,714. So Newlife is calling on ‘local heroes’ across the area to donate or fundraise to help these families. Newlife guarantees that 100 per cent of all monies donated or fundraised in Greater Manchester will be used to provide specialist equipment for children in the metropolitan area.
The Newlife Community Fundraising team can be contacted on 0800 988 4640 (free from UK landlines) or by emailing [email protected]
For more information about Newlife Foundation, go to www.newlifecharity.co.uk. All support services can be accessed via the Newlife Nurse Helpline – 0800 902 0095 (free from UK landlines) or email [email protected]
Pictured: Baby Noah Fitzpatrick.