IT can be diffcult caring for youngsters suffering from conditions or disabilities, without the additional pressure of affording specialist equipment.
Even travel costs attending hospital appointments can soon mount up.
This is where the Journal Children’s Fund can step in.
The worthwhile fund currently stands at £15,440. It is in place to help sick children and their families, be it paying for medical equipment or equipment for the home to make getting about easier.
One family that benefited from the Journal Children’s Fund is the West family.
Lisa and Philip West were living in constant fear that their baby son Haydn could die because he was not breathing.
Mum Lisa had to give up work to care for him full-time, and she was unable to sleep through fear she could lose him in the night.
She contacted the Journal and we were able to buy a Respisense Buzz-Breathing Monitor. The £90 piece of kit sent an alarm if he stopped breathing and buzzed to stimulate his breathing after a further 20 seconds.
It was a God-send to the family and now aged four, Haydn is a happy, healthy little boy.
Lisa, of Ambergate Walk, Grantham, said: “That monitor made such a difference. At the time, we had no money to go out and get one ourselves. People might argue that it’s not a lot of money but it is when you haven’t got anything.
“The Journal fund is so important. It made a big difference to us.”
Another grateful parent is Julie Byrne, of Green Street in Great Gonerby. The Journal fund paid out £2,000 for a special helmet to help correct her daughter’s plagiocephaly, better known as flat head syndrome. The money also went towards travel costs to Leeds for fittings and check-ups at a private clinic.
Kennae was nine months old at the time, and also suffering from torticollis, or wry neck, and dystonia, which causes weakened muscles in the body.
Julie said the financial help from the Children’s Fund made a big difference.
She added: “Kennae is doing well, although she does still have some problems. The fund is important because it helps people.”
Another flat head syndrome sufferer helped by the fund was Cooper Harlock. His parents, Sarah and Martin, called the Journal back in November 2008 for help to pay for a helmet to correct the deformity.
Meanwhile, Hazel Packham contacted the Journal back in February 2010 for help to buy a bath frame for her wheelchair-bound grandson, Adam.
Surgery on her back and hip left her struggling to pick him up. Although social services provided the equipment for his parents’ home, as his grandmother, Hazel was not eligible.
After the Journal stepped in, looking after Adam was so much easier for her.