This week, we want to help make life better for a 5 year old girl from Manchester called Samantha.
Samantha had a traumatic birth, and spent the first 8 weeks of her life in hospital. She had a major bleed on her brain and had to fight for her life. As a result, she has hydrocephalus which is a build up of fluid in her brain. It causes difficulty walking, blurred vision and headaches. Samantha had to have an operation to fit a shunt to help relieve the pressure in her brain, and divert the fluid to another part of her body.
Then last year, at age 4, Samantha was also diagnosed with epilepsy. Every time she has a seizure, she is paralysed for around 20 minutes. Thankfully they are being controlled now with medication so happen less often.
Samantha lives at home with her big sister and brother, and is cared for full-time by her mum, Shell, who is a single parent. Her mum says they just take each day and night as it comes. They never know when she is going to have a seizure, and they also live with the terrifying knowledge that Samantha’s shunt could malfunction at any time.
Each time Samantha visits her local hospital, she has the chance to play in the sensory rooms there and absolutely loves the experience. Shell has been trying to buy her some sensory toys and equipment to have at home, but with a minimal income and 3 children to care for, it hasn't been possible.
We want to help buy them for her.