Little Albie Logan, from Abingdon in Oxfordshire, contracted bacterial meningitis when he was just days old.
As a result, at 19 months he is unable to sit unaided, has no independent movement on the right side of his body and has restricted vision. He also suffers regular complex seizures for which he receives multiple medications and is undergoing tests to decide whether he is a candidate for brain surgery.
Through a local children’s development service, Albie has had use of specialist sensory equipment – a bubble tube – which has tentatively helped to improve his hand-eye co-ordination and calm him during recovery from his many seizures. To help ensure his progress, he urgently needs equipment of his own, but the cost – £909 – prompted Albie’s mum Claire Logan to contact leading children’s disability charity Newlife Foundation for help.
Claire said: “It has been very encouraging to see Albie show interest in the bubble tube – it has opened up an avenue of communication for him. However, the equipment was only on loan, and has now been passed on to another family. His vision seems to have improved as a result of using this sensory equipment and it is really important to his development that we have the chance to build on this – and that is why I have asked Newlife for help in getting a bubble tube for Albie.”
Newlife Lead Nurse Karen Dobson said: “Sensory equipment is very important to the development of children like Albie. A specialist bubble tube will teach him ‘cause and effect’ by allowing him to control its colour change through a switch. In addition, it is important Albie has something which will help him calm and recover following seizures.”
Newlife has provided 74 items of specialist disability equipment for children in Oxfordshire, totalling £78,415. However, demand on Newlife resources has shot up as families of disabled and terminally ill children are hit by cutbacks across statutory services. Therefore, the charity is appealing for ‘local heroes’ to come forward to fundraise or donate towards the cost of equipment for children in their county.
Newlife CEO Sheila Brown said: “Newlife guarantees that 100 per cent of any gift or donation will go directly to provide Albie with the sensory equipment he needs. Any money raised surplus to his requirements will be used to fund equipment for other disabled and terminally ill children in Oxfordshire.”
Newlife is currently working with a total of three families in the county, with equipment needs totalling £2,453.
If you think you can help, 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.
To find out more about the range of Newlife services, which are all free of charge, call the Newlife Nurse Helpline – freephone 0800 902 0095 – or go to www.newlifecharity.co.uk