IT’s a chair that would allow the five-year-old to play with her toys and spend precious time with her family.
But at a cost of £2630, the specialist device is too much for the relatives of young Charlotte Farrell – who can suffer up to 50 seizures a day – to afford. Today, her mum launches a fundraising drive to try to raise the money needed for the chair, which would dramatically improve the quality of her severely disabled daughter’s life.
Susan Farrell, 38, from The Inch, said: “Charlotte sleeps a lot because of the medication she is on.
“She currently has a seat, but this doesn’t recline and so when she either has a seizure or falls asleep she has to be put to bed for her own safety.
“Because of her condition, Charlotte can’t be left alone so it means either my mother or myself has to sit with her. I watch over her at night.
“This chair would be like an armchair that can tilt so she can fall asleep and we don’t have to put her to bed. It will also help her to use her own muscles.
“Normally these kinds of chairs only last about two years but this chair adapts so, potentially, she could have it for ten or 15 years.” Charlotte, a pupil at Oaklands Special School, has a number of life-threatening conditions, including severe epilepsy, and needs 24-hour care.
The specialist portable chair will allow Charlotte to play with her toys and spend more time at the heart of the home instead of having to go to bed if she falls asleep during the afternoon.
Her mum hopes the required £2630 can be found for her daughter, who also suffers from global developmental delay, microcephaly and scoliosis – which is causing her spine to twist out of shape. As there is no statutory funding available to pay for the chair, Miss Farrell has turned to children’s disability charity Newlife Foundation for help.
Miss Farrell said: “Newlife needs support to help get the money in for the chair and anything raised over and above will go to other children in the area.”
Newlife’s chief executive, Sheila Brown, OBE, said: “Our equipment grants are so vital to so many children, offering practical support to families in need. Equipment can range from wheelchairs and portable hoists to specialist seating of the type Charlotte so urgently needs.”
“Because of the huge demand, we are calling on ‘local heroes’ to help us raise money to fund equipment.
“Newlife guarantees that 100 per cent of any gift or donation will go directly to support dis- abled children in your area.”
To donate to Charlotte’s appeal, call 0800-988 4640.
Any surplus money raised will help support other disabled and terminally ill children in the area.