Thirteen-year-old Stephen Williams from Liverpool is now able to do more independently – thanks to his new powered wheelchair funded through a charity partnership.
Stephen has Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy which is a muscle wasting condition. He has a missing gene called Dystrophin which makes the muscles grow in order to give the body power for movement – because of this he is unable to walk unaided as his condition has mainly affected the lower half of his body.
Like many teenage boys Stephen enjoys playing his Xbox and loves supercars like Porsches, Ferraris and Bentleys. This is the age when boys start to really gain their own independence but this has been harder for Stephan as he had to rely on those around him to push him in his manual wheelchair. He needed a powered wheelchair that would allow him to be mobile independently.
Dad Barrie Williams said: “Before Stephen got this new Emotion wheelchair he had to depend on people to push him around, now he can propel himself with little effort because of the battery powered wheels. The chair has been specially made for his condition and can be made wider and longer as he grows. He sits up higher as well with a special back rest to support his back.”
Stephen was provided with his new powered wheelchair costing £6,155, which was beyond the family budget. That’s why Stephen’s dad contacted Newlife Foundation for Disabled Children – the UK’s largest charity provider of specialist equipment for children with disabilities and terminal illness.
With funding from Newlife’s charity partner The Morgan Foundation, Stephen has been provided with a specialist powered wheelchair allowing him do things that most young boys take for granted.
Barrie added: “Stephen can go his own way now and feels more independent and doesn’t get tired propelling the chair. Stephen and every member of the family would like to thank Newlife and The Morgan Foundation for their support and for funding this amazing wheelchair for Stephen. Newlife’s service and customer support from the start of the application to the funding was amazing.”
An initial donation of £450,000 – raised through a Morgan Foundation charity golf day and gala dinner in 2014 – has already helped hundreds of children across North Wales, Merseyside, West Cheshire, North Shropshire and parts of the West Midlands get the vital equipment they need for everyday life. Now the Morgan Foundation has followed this up with an annual commitment of £100,000.
Steve Morgan, chairman of The Morgan Foundation, said: “With his new powered wheelchair Stephen is able to do things that many of us take for granted. It’s because of the continued help from the Morgan Foundation that we are able to provide vital equipment to children in need like Stephen.”
For further information about The Morgan Foundation visit the website, www.morganfoundation.co.uk or call 01829 782800.
If you would like to find out more about Newlife Foundation for Disabled Children and how to access its services, call the Newlife Nurse Helpline on 0800 902 0095 (free from UK landlines) or go to www.newlifecharity.co.uk.