Some of the special children we helped in 2014
This is Yousaf who suffered a brain haemorrhage when he was just 3 weeks old. Yousaf was left with a number of problems including Cerebral Palsy, visual impairment and brain damage. Yousaf is a very active child who loves to spend time outdoors but due to his development problems, he is not very good at maintaining his balance.
His physiotherapist suggested that a specialised trike would be a great benefit and Wipe Away Those Tears were more than happy to help and provide this little boy with his trike.
This young man is Toby Seaden and at the age of 3 years, Toby lost all use of his speech and the understanding of language. He was finally diagnosed with a medical condition called Landau Kleffner Syndrome, which is a very rare brain disorder caused by abnormal electrical activity in the brain. Toby’s mum told us that he struggles on a daily basis with many things but most commonly communication, and would greatly benefit from the use of an IPad. Toby’s mum also told us:
“Toby has a beautiful smile and we would just like to see it more often”.
We have provided Toby with his very own IPad and hope that he is now smiling every day.
Beautiful Roxi Aldrich is almost 3 years of age and suffers with Spastic Diplegia Cerebral Palsy. After a difficult birth, Roxi was placed into an induced coma for the first days of her life. She has since been in and out of hospital undergoing various operations.
Roxi had been showing her determination to walk everywhere, but despite all her efforts this is not possible. A specialised trike would give Roxi the independence that she is craving and also provide the physiotherapy, without her realising, to strengthen her muscles pre and post future surgery.
Roxi now has her trike and we hope that she enjoys many happy times riding in her local park.
Lewis Hyam is almost 2 years old and after a very traumatic birth has Hypotonia and Development Delay. Lewis can sit unaided but is unable to stand or walk. He loves being taken for rides in the family car but had outgrown his car seat which was now very uncomfortable for him.
His mum desperately needed a swivel car seat which would be ideal for Lewis and a great help to his mum when getting him in and out of the car. As Lewis has many hospital appointments he spends lots of time in his car seat travelling to all the various hospitals. He can now travel in style and comfort in the new swivel car seat, compliments of Wipe Away Those Tears.
This very brave, beautiful young lady is Olivia Coughlan. Just days after Olivia’s 15th birthday she was diagnosed with a severe form of bone cancer in the left pelvis.
After 30 weeks of chemotherapy at University College Hospital (staying for 3 weeks out of every 5) it was discovered that the tumour had not shrunk and the only option was for Olivia to undergo major surgery.
Olivia then endured an 8.5 hour operation in which her left leg, pelvis and sacrum were amputated.
Olivia’s auntie told us that Olivia was proving to be quite a talented cook and would dearly love her own professional mixer.
Wipe Away Those Tears not only provided Olivia with her food mixer, we also arranged a Cookery Course with Jo Wheatley, winner of the Great British Bake Off.
The good news is that Olivia was home with her family in time for Christmas and as an extremely special wish we arranged for Pixie Lott to visit Olivia at home and spend some time with her.
As you can see from the smile on Olivia’s face, she had a very happy Christmas.
Say ‘Hello’ to George Loring: George is almost 2 years old and is already quite famous due to his birth. During a 37 week scan it was discovered that there was a problem, namely Cystic Hygroma.
As there was a strong chance that he could be stillborn it was decided to perform the birth by the EXIT procedure which involved 26 surgeons and 2 operating theatres at University College Hospital.
This procedure had never been carried out previously and was rehearsed numerous times within a week of George being born. The birth was filmed and is now used for teaching purposes, so George is quite a little film star.
Unfortunately his condition has left him with no upper airway so George had to have a tracheostomy shortly after he was born. Due to the tracheostomy, George relies on a suction machine to clear his airway and the family were using a portable suction machine which was very noisy and very heavy. The worst thing about this machine is the noise, due to George’s condition he does look very different and as soon as the machine goes on everyone starts looking even more.
George is a very happy lively little boy who loves going to various activities and a smaller, quieter machine would make such a difference.
George is now the proud owner of his very own much smaller and much quieter suction machine with love from Wipe Away Those Tears.
This lovely little baby is Ava Appleby who was born with severe difficulties which were later diagnosed as Charge Syndrome (no nasal passages, deformed ears, deformed jaw and unable to breathe for herself).
Since birth Ava has undergone 8 operations in Great Ormond Street and many more procedures. At one point little Ava was put into a medically induced coma as her body could not cope.
Ava has since defied everybody, and although due to facial palsy Ava is unable to smile, her face lights up when she sees Fibre Optics. Wipe Away Those Tears were very happy to provide Ava with her Fibre Optics and hope that these made her face light up on her very 1st Christmas.
At just 5 weeks old Will Milgate developed meningitis and as a consequence now has Cerebral Palsy, with left sided hemiplegia and development delay. Will desperately wanted to ride a bike along with his sisters, but despite constant attempts it was a great struggle to pedal and balance.
Will now has his very own trike to go out riding and keep up with his sisters, courtesy of Wipe Away Those Tears.
Annabel Doran is 4 years old and her primary condition is Ostegoenesis Imperfecta. Annabel has to deal with multiple broken bones, (over 50 to date), hypermobility in her joints and dwarfism, to name just a few of the elements of her condition. Annabel has had 10 different surgeries, including a hernia repair, spinal surgery and portacath placements with her 11th surgery for replacement rods in her femurs taking place shortly.
Annabel is now at an age where the difference between herself and her peers is evident, and as she was starting school in September 2014 her parents were desperate to update the wheelchair that Annabel had been using since she was 18 months old. It was very slow and Annabel was unable to transfer from it. Annabel had tried out a super duper Koala chair, which was amazing but also very expensive.
Wipe Away Those Tears were so pleased to purchase the Koala chair for Annabel and her mum wrote in to say:
“I just wanted to send you a little email to say a massive thank you for enabling us to get Annabel a new powerchair.
This year has been so very tough on Annabel with four major surgeries, all of which have taken their toll on her mobility and really affected her personality. She just hasn’t been herself for a long time now. Annabel started school this year, one of our many concerns was that Annabel would not be able to keep up with her friends and interact with them but seeing her whizz around the playground with her friends and not being held back by her condition was amazing. It really is the small things in life that make all the difference.
Having this new chair truly has changed her life. We are starting to see our happy cheerful funny little girl shining back through”.
The Barnard Triplets
We received an email from Kelly, mum to Lyndon who is 3 years old and triplets, Evie, Erin & Travis who are 21 months old. Here Kelly tells us about her family:
Lyndon is a happy, healthy child and attends nursery 3 times a week where he has developed and grown in his life skills and confidence. However, my triplets had a rocky start to life when they were born in December 2012 at 27 weeks gestation. Each of them was transferred to a specialist hospital and ventilated. They have all also suffered brain bleeds from their traumatic delivery.
Eventually, in March 2013, I finally had all of my triplet’s home, each of them on home oxygen. Travis and Erin are now off the oxygen, however, Evie continues to depend on it. On Friday 5th September we found out that Evie has only a quarter of one lung in functioning order where the rest of this lung and the other one are collapsed. Evie also needs yearly heart scans as the lack of oxygen around her body can cause heart defects.
Travis suffers epilepsy and has developmental delay, putting him currently on the scale for a 9 month old baby. Both Evie and Travis have low immunity. Evie, Erin and Travis are all suspected to have cerebral palsy of different types. Erin suffers worse from muscle spasms and has moments throughout the day where her body goes rigid and she screams in pain. She is trying very hard to walk and can currently take 3 steps, however, she struggles to continue to walk because of her stiffness.
Karen, my social worker, believes that a hydrotherapy pool may help each of the triplets with their cerebral palsy and that you may be able to help us in funding one for our garden. To have a hydrotherapy pool of our own would mean that the babies will not be at risk of developing infections or catching germs like they would in a public pool and so it would be safer for them. It would prevent admissions to hospital due to Evie’s breathing or Travis’ increase in seizures due to infection, coughs or colds and Erin would be able to relax and work on her muscles.
I hope this gives you an insight into our family life and the way in which a hydrotherapy pool with help my triplets.
This beautiful smiling face belongs to 2 year old Isla Johnson who suffers from a very rare bowel disease that has left her unable to eat or drink. She is feds through her heart via a central line 14 hours per day. Isla’s disease has only ever been seen in two children at GOSH and doesn’t even have a scientific name.
Isla has spent 10 months of this year in hospital and is due to go back in again in January to have a stoma put in. Isla, despite everything she goes through, is incredibly brave.
Isla is currently back in her local hospital again and as she is absolutely obsessed with Disney princesses she would love an iPad. As she spends so much time in hospital, she can watch all her favourite princesses on there. She also is crazy about Ant and Dec and spends hours watching them on You Tube so this would be another way of her being able to do that. It would definitely make staying in hospital more fun for her.
Wipe Away Those Tears were so happy to make Isla’s wish come true.
This happy little boy is Harley Reynolds and this is the request we received from Harley’s mum:
“Our son, Harley is 6 years old and has a chromosome abnormality, he has low muscle tone, and poor balance control, as well as no speech , sleep apnea , larynglomacia making it hard to breathe if he exerts himself or becomes too excited.
He is unable to ride a bike by himself and up to now we have put a bike seat on our bikes to take him out, but he is now too big. We bought one that was for slightly bigger kids a few years ago which sat on the front of our bikes but he got his foot out the stirrup and put it in the front wheel causing months of pain, and operations on his foot. We are desperate to be able to take him out on a bike especially now the summer is coming and we live close to Southend seafront, he would love it.
If you could help this would be an amazing opportunity for us to be able to go out and have fun as a family”.
Wipe Away Those Tears were happy to make this wish come true.
Franceska Christie is another of our Special Children. Franceska has Quadriplegic Cerebral Palsy with lots of complex needs.
Franceska is fitted with a Hickman Line and was in need of a dry suit, as she loves the water. Wipe Away Those Tears were delighted to provide this for Franceska, together with a special changing bench, to make life a little easier for her Mum.