In May this year we ran a competition for parents to win a Lifelites iPad package for their local children's hospice to celebrate Children’s Hospice Week, and the lucky winners were Acorns in the Black Country. They were selected thanks to a survey completed by Kelly, who told us about the impact that iPads have had on her daughter Heavenly.
She said: “The iPad has made such a difference to Heavenly’s life. I could go on forever about how important this tech is to her; the whole family can use it communicate and play with her.
“Heavenly can say a few words, and over the years she has used a range of different communication tools but once she started using the iPad suddenly she was a completely different child. Also, due to her condition she can’t go out a lot and isn’t currently able to attend school, but she can use the iPad to stay in touch with her friends, keep up with her education and play games with the whole family. It has given her so much confidence.”
Heavenly wasn’t born with any disabilities, but was diagnosed with a brain tumour at the age of six. During the operation to save her life she suffered a stroke, which robbed her of her speech and the use of her limbs and eyesight on her right side. After winning her fight with cancer she was diagnosed with a rare condition called poiklothermia, which means that she cannot maintain a normal body temperature and lives with hypothermia every day. It is a constant battle to keep her body temperature within the normal limits, and has previously been as low as 18°C.
Heavenly regularly visits Acorns in the Black Country, based in Walsall, which provides specialist care and support for children and their families in the Black Country and the surrounding areas.
Despite going through so much, Heavenly, who is now 12 years old, is able to use the Lifelites iPads and other pieces of Lifelites equipment to have fun, be creative, communicate and control something for herself.
If you’d like to help us to continue to support children like Heavenly, find out how you can get involved here: www.lifelites.org/get-involved/. Also, if you have a story like Heavenly’s you’d like to share with us about using the Lifelites equipment, please get in touch with Hannah on firstname.lastname@example.org.