AN APPEAL has been launched to raise £5,747 to fund specialist equipment so a disabled Droitwich teenager can benefit from recent surgery she has had and become more mobile.
Being born prematurely left Charlie-Marie French, 18, with cerebral palsy which led to her visually impaired and unable to speak, as well as having no independent mobility.
She underwent spinal surgery, combined with selective dorsal rhizotomy, an operation to improve spasticity (muscle stiffness).
Charlie now uses dynamic leg splints but her present wheelchair does not allow her to use them and she now needs a specially adapted power assist wheelchair so she can get the full benefit from her operation. That will, in turn, enable her to move more freely and spend more time with her family and friends.
Her mum Ruth turned to the Newlife Foundation for Disabled Children to help pay for the much-needed equipment for Charlie-Marie after the Government’s wheelchair services contributed £650 towards the equipment.
Now Newlife is hoping Worcestershire residents will help it raise the remaining £5,747 to pay for the wheelchair.
Ruth said: “The power assisted wheelchair will enable Charlie-Marie to use her leg splints and sit with her family.
“She has to do stretching exercises and at present can only do them in bed.
“After her major surgery the new wheelchair is paramount to her health needs so she can get the benefits of surgery.
“She needs to use splints as much as possible.”
Appealing for contributions Stephen Morgan, head of operations for Newlife Foundation for Disabled Children, said: “We are looking for local heroes in Worcestershire to help stop Charlie-Marie’s health deteriorating.”
Currently, Charlie-Marie is one of five under 19s in Worcestershire who need help with equipment.
The charity has helped 150 families in Worcestershire through equipment grants and loans totalling £264,237.
Anyone who can donate to the Newlife Worcestershire Fund – which is aimed at having local people help local disabled children should visit www.newlifecharity.co.uk/worcestershire – and make their pledges there.
Any cash collected over the amount needed for Charlie-Marie will be used to provide specialist equipment for another disabled or terminally ill child in Worcestershire.