Our technology enhances the lives of thousands of terminally ill and disabled children and young people across the British Isles every day. One of those very special people is Craig.
Craig was born with a rare genetic condition called Neurofibromatosis. The condition, which is a result of a genetic mutation, can cause a number of medical complications. These medical complications have been so severe for Craig that he has come very close to losing his life to them on several occasions.
Although he used to be as talkative and mischievous as any other child and was able to walk and talk, Craig is now confined to a wheelchair, unable to communicate and requires round the clock care from his parents.
Geoff tells me that Craig refuses to be held back by his condition and found his life completely transformed when he was given an iPad. The iPad has an app which enables Craig to communicate, ProLoQuo2Go. The app is pre-programmed with over 10,000 words and is easily adaptable to the user’s preference and caters for a wide range of fine-motor, visual and cognitive skills.
Craig has a section on the app called ‘Craig’s corny jokes,’ and even has a section for insults. At the press of a button it says ‘My Dad is fat bacon pig.’ Geoff says “I don’t care what he calls me, as long as he’s still here to call me it.”
As well as using the iPad for fun and games, Craig can also use it to tell his carers when he is in pain and how bad it is, which can be life-saving.
Self-confessed technophobe Geoff said: “The only time you see Craig stressed is when his battery runs out. The iPad is everything to him. It’s his world. It’s his lifeline.”
Since the age of 17 Craig and his family have regularly visited Martin House children’s hospice in Yorkshire, which is just one of the services that Lifelites provides technology for.
Martin House was the first hospice to receive iPad packages from Lifelites, and in 2016 we donated even more, all loaded with specialist apps including of course, ProLoQuo2Go. They cost £700 each, but Craig’s story alone is enough to prove that they can change lives, so we think they’re worth their weight in gold.
A brain tumour at the age of six left Heavenly with a number of disabilities, but the equipment provided by Lifelites has opened up a whole new world to her.
Seven year old Samuel has cerebral palsy and is a regular visitor to Acorns for the Three Counties in Worcester.
Brothers Thomas and Connor, aged 9 and 6, were born with life limiting complex congenital heart disease. Each has only half a heart.
Six year old Lois Russell who suffers from severe spastic quadriplegic cerebral palsy and epilepsy was one of the first to try out the technology when Lifelites visited Keech Hospice Care in Luton.
William Young-Dagg is five years old and visits Butterwick Children’s Hospice in Durham.
Nine year old Megan Farrell from Middlesbrough has been attending Butterwick House for three years for short breaks so that her mum, dad and sister can take a little time off from their caring responsibilities.
Josh is a frequent visitor to Each Anglia Children’s Hospice in Cambridge and a very enthusiastic gamer.