A partnership between Newlife, the Charity for Disabled Children and Marks and Spencer is providing a wheelchair for a young girl whose life changed overnight.
When Neave Hardacre was just two years old, she suffered a massive seizure that forced her doctors to place her into a medically induced coma. Her terrified parents were then faced with the awful decision to turn off the machine that was keeping their daughter alive. But Neave is a fighter – and after two and a half weeks in a coma, she started to breathe by herself.
Sadly, the Neave that her family had known, was gone. Neave has a condition called Dravet Syndrome, a severe form of Epilepsy. The seizure had happened in the night and when her mum found Neave, her organs had been starved of oxygen, leading to brain damage.
Mum Emma said: “After the seizure, Neave’s needs changed dramatically – we had to get to know the new Neave. Fortunately, she knows who we are and she knows her surroundings. She smiles and she laughs.”
Now 13-years-old, Neave from Wirral in Merseyside, has recently undergone a 10 hour operation to correct the curve in her spine that was caused by spending her formative years in a wheelchair. She now has two metal rods either side of her spine!
But the operation meant her wheelchair was no longer giving her the support she needed. She desperately needed a new chair that would keep her supported and allow her to get out in the fresh air, down to the marina near her home so she could enjoy the breeze on her face – a simple pleasure that she loves.
Emma turned to Newlife, the Charity for Disabled Children for help. Through its partnership with Marks and Spencer, Newlife is able to provide Neave with the £5,494 needed to fund her wheelchair.
M&S has worked in partnership with Newlife since 2006 as part of its Plan A commitments, donating returned products and clothing samples that cannot be sold, to the charity to be resold or recycled. The majority of the donated products are sold in the Newlife SuperStore in Staffordshire and the charity recycles the remaining items, all to raise money for children with disabilities. In October 2010, M&S launched a grants scheme, which has specifically helped fund over 260 pieces of essential equipment, totalling in excess of £850,000 for disabled children in local communities across the UK.
Jacquie Leonard, Community Programme Manager at Marks & Spencer, said: “Our partnership with Newlife is not only great for the environment but it also helps to improve the lives of disabled children by providing much-needed specialist equipment. We are delighted to be able to support such a vital charity.”
Newlife Head of Operations Stephen Morgan added: “The UK has more disabled children than ever before – and our partnership with M&S benefits hundreds of children. It’s an outrage that families have to ‘battle’ local services and yet still face heart-breaking refusals. The support of organisations like M&S means we can change lives across the UK every day.”
Newlife guarantees that 100 per cent of monies donated or fundraised in Merseyside will be used to specifically help children with disabilities and terminal illness in the area.