Generous donors have been rallying around to help a young boy attempt to walk again.
But 11-year-old Charlie Welsh from Winsford is still in desperate need of more help to give him back the independence he lost after being diagnosed with two illnesses and acquiring a brain injury.
Charlie was just eight when he was diagnosed with scarlet fever and then Kawasaki disease just a few weeks later, which causes a fever and rash. This triggered a condition called Pandas (Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorders Associated with Streptococcal Infections), which causes the sudden onset of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and Tourette’s syndrome.
And only weeks later during a playground game, he fell forward and headbutted play equipment, leaving him with a brain injury and unable to walk.
To enable him to stand on his own feet again and regain some of the independence he has lost, wheelchair-bound Charlie needs a standing frame which costs £2,781 – and although many kind people have donated, he still needs to find £2,358 to be able to get one.
In desperation, Charlie’s mum Angela contacted Newlife is a UK charity provider of specialist equipment for children with disabilities and terminal illness who launched the appeal.
Angela said: “With a standing frame he would be able to change position on his own which would stop him being so uncomfortable and help him practise weight bearing.
“He hasn’t walked for three years, uses a wheelchair to go outside and at home he crawls. It’s hard, it feels like I have lost the child I once had. He has a great personality and he deals with it all well, even with everything that has happened he is still happy-go-lucky; but we don’t know what the future holds.
She added: “He is on long-term antibiotics because of the risk of further infection and he has had a lot of physio, but he can’t weight bear.
"His physiotherapist suggested a standing frame would really benefit him, and he was recently able to try one.
"To see him stand for the first time in three years was so emotional for me – and the grin on his face was just amazing.
“If Charlie could have a standing frame of his own he would be able to get used to weight bearing again and maybe even take a few steps. At the moment he’s isolated, but a standing frame would increase his confidence, his general health and help him socially too as it would be easier for him to talk to others if he’s standing up.”
Charlie has joined a gymnastic team for those with disabilities and won an outstanding seven gold medals in his first competition. He now hopes having the standing frame will help him do much more in life.
He said: “With a standing frame I could maybe walk, if I practiced. I could also go out with my friends and play more sports.”
Newlife is currently receiving more Equipment Grant applications than at any time in its 25-year history, which is why public support is needed to help families caring for disabled and terminally ill children in Cheshire.
To support Charlie in getting his equipment, click here.
Any funds raised above the amount needed for Charlie’s standing frame will be used to help other children in Cheshire as he is currently one of 22 children with equipment needs of £46,900 in the county.