A teenage boy in Cornwall, who was virtually housebound for two years, has ‘got his life back’ thanks to a new hi-tech wheelchair provided by Newlife Foundation for Disabled Children.
Jonathon Inkin, aged 16, lives in the rural community of Callington in Cornwall. He has a degenerative muscle wasting condition (Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy), has metal rods in his spine and is currently recovering from surgery earlier this year to correct a dislocated hip.
Mum Becky Inkin said: “I don’t think Jonathon has ever had an NHS wheelchair that has been comfortable. He has a pressure sore following spinal surgery in December 2012 and could only sit in his old wheelchair for short periods so he spent a lot of time in a recliner chair. He would only sit in the wheelchair when he needed to go to hospital so he became virtually housebound.”
After waiting months only to be told statutory services would not provide the £12,800 wheelchair Jonathon needed, his occupational therapist referred the family to Newlife, the largest charity funder of specialist equipment for children with disabilities and terminal illness in the UK.
Jonathon said: “I am so grateful to Newlife for providing me with my new wheelchair; it has given me my old life back. I can now go anywhere I wish almost pain free. It is amazing!”
Jonathon’s new wheelchair has a hi-tech suspension system which means he no longer experiences excruciating jolts of pain as he bumps along his local cobbled and pot-holed streets.
Becky added: “He has used the new wheelchair every day since he got it, around the house and down the garden – he has even been out into the village for a drink, a soft one of course, at the local pub.
“Jonathon is comfortable enough – and confident enough – to use it. He has even organised a trip to Manchester later in the year to see the magician Dynamo in a show and visit the Coronation Street set. That is a first for Jonathon and shows how much of a difference this wheelchair is already making.”
Right now, there are another four children with disabilities or a terminal illness in Cornwall who need your help to get the specialist equipment that will really change their lives.
The Newlife Cornwall Fund supports equipment provision for under-19s in the county facing any significant disability, whether acquired through birth defect, prematurity, accident or illness. The website – www.newlifecharity.co.uk/cornwall – enables 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 firstname.lastname@example.org – and shows specific ways people can help support children with disability and terminal illness and their families.
Pictured: Jonathon Inkin