A children’s charity is calling on the community to make Christmas extra special for a disabled teenager in St Leonards.
Newlife - the Charity for Disabled Children has launched the appeal to raise money towards a specialist moulded seat with enough support to prevent Katie Histed from choking and to accommodate her painfully curving spine.
Born 13 weeks early Katie, aged 17, has cerebral palsy which affects muscle control of both her arms and legs.
She is deaf, cannot speak and has breathing difficulties, including one lung that collapses.
Although parents, Ian and Teresa, said their local health and social care services provided a seat for Katie to prevent her choking, it does not accommodate the S-shape of her spine. As a result she has a permanent red pressure mark on the skin above her spine and cannot tolerate using it for long, but cannot safely sit anywhere else.
Newlife is trying to raise £3,772 to fund a specialist moulded seat for Katie that will meet all her needs and an anonymous donor has already pledged to match all donations Newlife receives for this pound for pound.
Dad Ian said: “Katie is like a ticking time bomb, she’s so vulnerable she could choke on anything at any time. It’s terrifying. She can’t sit in just any chair, but the only one we have for her at home causes her pain. It’s rigid and hard and can’t accommodate the curve of her spine which seems to be getting worse. We just want Katie to be able to sit in a chair that is at the right angle for her breathing, but also keeps her comfortable and pain-free.
“At the moment she’s getting very distressed and she’s not sleeping well. If Katie could be comfortable and relaxed she would be happier.
“For Katie to be safe and happy would make the best Christmas for us all.”
Newlife senior manager for care services Carrick Brown said: “Not having the right equipment has a huge impact on the lives of disabled children and their families, as we see here with Katie, but statutory services often have limited stock which just isn’t suitable.”
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