This week, we want to help a boy from Yorkshire called Oscar, who is almost 4 years old. Oscar was born prematurely and has a condition called severe bilateral dystonic cerebral palsy. It means he can’t walk, sit unaided, feed himself, or speak. He communicates mostly using his eyes. Oscar doesn’t sleep very well either. He wakes up every couple of hours during the night, as he often gets himself into awkward positions and needs his parents to readjust him.
Oscar has been having regular physiotherapy since he was a baby, and requires a lot equipment to improve his quality of life.
He is about to outgrow his specialist carseat. The new one he needs will cost a massive £2000. Without it, Oscar will have to rely on public transport. His parents live down a country lane, and would have to push him almost a mile down an unpaved road to the nearest bus stop, for a bus service that runs only 4 times a day. With constant trips to the hospital, physio and occupational therapist, it just isn’t practical.
Oscar also needs a specialist pushchair, which will cost around £460. The NHS will provide funding for Oscar to have a wheelchair, however, he can't have funding for both a wheelchair and a pushchair - the choice is one or the other.
Oscar will need a wheelchair for school in September, so his parents have decided to use the NHS funding for that. However, the wheelchair can only be used on flat surfaces and where Oscar lives is not flat. Which means they won't be able to take him outside very easily. Oscar absolutely loves being outside, watching the trees and feeling the breeze, so his parents are desperate for him to have a pushchair as well.
The list of equipment and support that Oscar needs is endless, and his parents spend most of their time fundraising to try to help him as much as they can. They have just managed to raise funds to take Oscar to Canada for treatment that they hope will help improve his condition, but they may now have to cancel the trip so they can buy the carseat and pushchair.
His mum said: “We are at breaking point and we are considering cancelling his treatment to buy these items - it's so hard to choose between something practical that he needs and an opportunity to enhance his mobility.”
We think this family could do with some kindness. So, with your help, we would love to try to buy the carseat and pushchair for Oscar.