Brothers Thomas and Connor, aged 9 and 6, were born with life limiting complex congenital heart disease. Each has only half a heart. This means they have a reduced exercise tolerance and are unable to take part in competitive sports which other children their age would take for granted. In 2015 Lifelites donated lots of magical items to Ellenor in Kent, including the Mobile Magic Carpet, a system that projects interactive images and games that children with little or no mobility can play with simply by moving over the picture.
Sharon, Thomas and Connor’s mum, told us: “When Lifelites with the Magic Carpet the boys were chuffed to bits to be able to play a 'real' football match. The carpet is a real leveller, allowing those with limited physical ability to compete and win against anyone and like most little boys it doesn't get much better than scoring a goal past Dad!”
The boys have a number of other medical conditions, both physical and mental. Thomas has recently been diagnosed with autism and suffers from anxiety. He struggles with busy environments and finds it difficult to interact with other children and unfamiliar adults.
Katie Mealy, support worker at Ellenor said: “TheLifelites donations have made a positive impact on our children, boosting not just educational outcomes but overall confidence. The Magic Carpet gives Thomas the confidence to play a football game with a child he did not know. When Thomas’s mum noticed the interaction between the two she was thrilled – it was something she rarely gets to see. Thomas is now sharing his knowledge of the equipment to help others use it.”
Among the latest Lifelites donation to Ellenor were also six of our special iPad packages. Their portability means the staff can use them with the children and young people in their own homes.
Sharon says: “The iPads are great for Connor who has sensory processing disorder which means writing and typing are difficult for him which, in turn, makes him very frustrated. The iPads are easy to use and entertaining which keeps Connor focused on tasks for longer periods of time and the voice activated technology really helps him overcome this barrier.
“We are so grateful to Lifelites and the generosity of those who helped raise the money for all the equipment that the boys love so much.”
Evan is three years old and is classed as a SWAN, meaning he has a syndrome without a name. Evan is severely delayed in all areas of his development and is unable to sit up, walk or roll, and unable to communicate verbally. But the Lifelites-donated Mobile Magic Carpet enables Evan to play, control something himself!
Little Madison has Down syndrome, a chronic lung disease, is oxygen dependent, and has a weak immune system. She cannot eat food orally but has to use a flexible feeding tube instead. She also has sight problems, might need hearing aids and as a one-year-old, she already had open heart surgery. But with our donated Mobile Magic Carpet, she can comfortably move around, explore bright lights and play with the moving bubbles around her. For some time, she can escape the confines of her conditions.
Two year old Noah has a degenerative condition which makes movement very difficult, but the staff at his local children’s hospice are able to use the donated Lifelites technology to encourage him to move through fun and play, helping him to stay active for as long as possible.
Eleven-year-old John Junior (JJ) used to be a lively young boy, able to explore the world and attend a mainstream school. But then he was diagnosed with ALD, cerebral x-lined adrenoleukodystrophy, meaning he suddenly lost his ability to walk or talk.
Alex had a brain tumour when he was six years old. After his surgery, he received extensive chemo and radio therapy. He spent three months in isolation when his stem cells were replaced and he initially recovered well. A year later, he relapsed and was given palliative diagnosis. But to the huge delight of his family and friends, his conditions very slowly improved again and is spreading joy with his lovely, bubbly personality!
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.
Troy has Spinal Muscular Atrophy Type 2 which is a genetic neuromuscular disorder that affects the nerve cells that control voluntary muscles. Troy needs to sit in a wheelchair and has difficulties moving his hands and arms. He often gets frustrated because of all the limitations he faces every day. But the Lifelites-donated Switches allowed him to bake cakes for his family, he is so proud of himself and now wants to bake all the time!
Seven year old Samuel has cerebral palsy and is a regular visitor to Acorns for the Three Counties in Worcester.
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.
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.
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.