top of page

Family return for a little extra help

Hi Sunshine News readers,

We’re still sharing the stories of our wonderful families and we have another familiar face you might recognise; this is eight-year-old Toby’s story.

Toby was starved of oxygen during birth and suffered life changing injuries as a result. He has Bilateral Cerebral palsy with dystonia, affecting all four of his limbs which leaves him needing round-the-clock care.

We first supported Toby in our 2018 Go Bananas campaign when we funded him a specialist bath costing almost £9,000. Toby has muscle tightness and spasms due to the dystonia but is totally relaxed when he’s in the water and so the bath would enable him to release muscle tension in the comfort of his own home, whenever he needed it.

Mum Tracey said “Toby’s bedtime routine is so much easier and safer for him. He can watch his TV in his room while his bath is running, then he is transferred straight into his bath using his hoist. We can bathe Toby whilst also keeping a close eye on his brothers. He had botox injections at the RVI on Tuesday last week and the first thing he wanted to do was ease his sore legs in the bath. I honestly don't know how we managed without it before.”

Parents, carers and organisations can apply to The Chronicle Sunshine Fund every 12 months and so when Toby was in need of new wheelchair, Mum and Dad knew exactly where to apply. Earlier this year, Toby’s parents applied for a Hoggi Swingbo, an all-terrain specialist wheelchair, with interchanging wheels, that offers him the postural support he needs when going on outings with his family. As Toby is at high risk of scoliosis and hip problems, this is the only suitable wheelchair available for him and so it has a hefty price tag of almost £7,000.

“Wheelchair services provided Toby with an indoor power chair for home and school. It's much easier for him to use and it means he gets to save his energy at school for therapy and learning. Despite him being a pro with his power chair, at only 8 years old he has not yet passed his test for outdoor use and I don't think it's safe for him just yet. Plus, this particular power chair wouldn't be suitable for all terrain.

I'm sure if wheelchair services had the budgets, they would love to be able to provide the children with chairs that meet all of their needs. But they do the best they can with what budgets allow. Sadly, there are much better, much more suitable chairs out there that are just too pricy to be funded by wheelchair services.

Luckily that's where the sunshine fund comes in yet again, funding equipment to families who otherwise would not be able to fund it themselves.

This chair is going to really improve Toby’s quality of life, and the lives of the whole family too. To make special memories together and not be so restricted on where we can go. To know that while we are accessing areas that are usually too tricky to manage in a typical manual chair, that Toby is still getting the high level of postural support he needs to keep him safe. It's going to put my mind at ease so much.

So thank you again to the Sunshine fund. This means so much to us.”

Along with parents Adam and Tracey, Toby lives with his younger brothers, Ethan (6) and Lucas (3), so we can only imagine all of the fun outings they’ll be able to have together when Toby’s chair arrives later in the Summer.

It is thanks to our amazing supporters that we have been able to support Toby and his family again but we still have so many local children waiting for equipment to be approved and funded and so we still need your donations and support.

Our applications have recently opened again so if you know anyone who might benefit from applying to us, direct them to the ‘Apply’ section of our website:

Have a great weekend,

Lauren x