A young woman who suffers seizures and used to have to sleep on a mattress on the floor or in a chair in hospital has been given a specialist travelbed to keep her safe.
Megan Cooper, 18, from Chichester, could seriously injure herself if put in a conventional bed when she stays in a ward overnight.
To help, Megan’s mum, Emma Taylor, spent the last ten years fundraising for a Safespace bed for a children’s ward at St Richard’s Hospital, but when Megan turned 18 she had to stay in an adult ward.
Emma said: “Megan used to have 40 to 50 seizures a day and although controlled by three different types of medication there’s always the risk they’ll suddenly stop working.
“She has a specialist Safespace bed at home, but in hospital there’s nothing suitable. I need to watch her constantly; she has absolutely no concept of danger and pulls out wires and plugs within her reach and can seriously injure herself.”
Although she’s now an adult, Megan has the mental age of a toddler and has cerebral palsy, autism and epilepsy.
She is entitled to one night respite care each week, but the adult care centre didn’t have a suitable bed so she couldn’t go.
But now, thanks to a partnership between Newlife the charity for disabled children and Marks and Spencer, Megan will soon have a £2,899 specialist travel bed to keep her safe whenever she is away from home.
Emma said: “Having a travel Safespace means Megan could go to hospital and respite and be safe – which is all we want!
“The only time I get a good night’s sleep is when she is at respite care, and as things were, I was scared I would never have another proper night’s sleep again.
“Having a Safespace would also mean we can go on a short break as a family – something we haven’t been able to do for over ten years.”
Newlife has helped provide £109,147 of equipment for more than 103 children in West Sussex.
Newlife head of charity operations Stephen Morgan said: “The UK has more disabled children than ever before – and our partnership with M&S benefits hundreds of children.
“It’s an outrage that families have to ‘battle’ local services and yet still face heart-breaking refusals.”
The charity is currently working with another four families in the county with equipment needs totalling £8,672.
Funds will stay within the county. Visit www.newlifecharity.co.uk/westsussex or call 01543 462777 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.