Can you help Doug, who suffers multiple seizures every day, receive the new wheelchair he needs?
- Credit: Archant
A 13-year-old boy who suffers from multiple seizures every day is in need of a new wheelchair.
When Douglas Griffiths was six-years-old he caught a virus which caused his brain to swell, resulting in scarring which changed the course of his life entirely.
After spending three months in hospital, including three weeks on life support, he was able to return to his Ely home – but seven years later he needs a variety of equipment for everyday life.
Newlife Foundation for Disabled Children is looking for ‘local heroes’ who can help fund the wheelchair. Newlife already has £645 towards the vital piece of equipment, which costs £1,937.
Doug, who is now 13, has lost the majority of his speech, experiences five different kinds of seizures and will have multiple seizures during each 24-hour period.
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These include drop seizures, so he wears a helmet to protect his head from injury and mum Amanda ensures he is surrounded by soft surfaces at home.
His muscles are weak and he can’t walk for long, so he needs a specialist buggy to leave the house; the wheelchair he has been using is no longer suitable as he is developing a curvature of the spine and is very uncomfortable.
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Mum Amanda said: “Doug was diagnosed with mild autism at the age of four, but he was fully able and went to mainstream school.
“Contracting the virus was just a chance in a million. He was lucky to live through it, but the doctor said he had never seen a brain so affected and the scar tissue he was left with has caused lack of cognitive ability and epilepsy.
“The curvature of the spine has developed partly from being slumped because of his seizures, but also because of his seating.
“We have changed his feeding chair and his chair at school, but we need to replace his old wheelchair so he is comfortable, which means we can go out again.
“He needs to be upright and in a good postural position – he has enough problems as it is – we don’t need any more.
“I usually try to take Doug and his ten-year-old brother Finlay out after school one day a week for tea and cakes, which they enjoy doing, but we can’t do that anymore.
“We can’t do things like just pop to the shops - even a dentist appointment is difficult.
“Doug can’t walk for more than five minutes. He’s unsteady on his feet and it’s too dangerous for him to be on concrete or hardstanding incase he has a seizure – and I would have no way to get him home without a wheelchair.
“Having the wheelchair he needs would give us much more freedom.
“Doug loves visiting the animals at the zoo, going to the beach and also the park so he can wander on the grass for a few minutes.
“He can’t do many things, but these are simple things we would be able to do with him again.
“His old wheelchair is very heavy, but he has trialled the one he needs and it is much more comfortable for Doug.
“It’s lighter and easy to manage and can go on any path – it would be a win for us on every level and help us do those family things we are missing out on.”
To help support Doug visit www.newlifecharity.co.uk/Cambridgeshire call 01543 431 444 or email firstname.lastname@example.org