Mother’s ap­peal to buy car seat for Mared

Cynon Valley - - YOUR NEWS - WILL HAY­WARD will.hay­ward@waleson­

A PON­TYPRIDD mum who can’t take her daugh­ter out in the car alone with­out putting her life at risk is ap­peal­ing for help.

Six-year-old Mared Lewis has a rare form of epilepsy which is of­ten so se­vere she ends up in hospi­tal and has even caused a stroke.

She is un­able to walk, talk and some days cannot sup­port her own head. Her cur­rent high street car seat doesn’t pro­vide the sup­port she needs, so she has to have some­one with her so she doesn’t flop for­wards and choke or hurt her­self dur­ing a seizure.

A spe­cial­ist car seat would make all the dif­fer­ence to Mared’s safety, but this costs £2,320. As statu­tory ser­vices don’t fund car seats, her par­ents Eirian and Darren des­per­ately need help to buy this spe­cial­ist equip­ment.

Mum Eirian said: “We don’t take Mared out any­where that isn’t med­i­cal ap­point­ments or school be­cause of our fear of some­thing hap­pen­ing to her in her cur­rent car seat. She needs a car seat with a sup­port­ive head rest that can tilt, so it stops her flop­ping forward and helps her pos­ture, as well as fast re­lease straps for when she has a seizure.

“Mared is aware of things and gets re­ally frus­trated as she can’t tell us what’s wrong, but when she smiles at me, it’s just per­fect – it takes my breath away. If we had the right car seat we could do those sim­ple things like take her to see Santa at Christ­mas or go out as a fam­ily with her 13-year-old brother Brychan.”

The cou­ple have turned to Newlife, the char­ity for dis­abled chil­dren for help. Newlife is the largest UK char­ity pro­vid­ing spe­cial­ist equip­ment for chil­dren with dis­abil­i­ties and ter­mi­nal ill­ness.

Right now, Newlife has two dis­abled and ter­mi­nally ill chil­dren in Rhondda Cynon Taf in need of spe­cial­ist equip­ment and must raise £5,910 to help them. Newlife has al­ready sup­ported 42 chil­dren across Rhondda Cynon Taf.

Newlife’s head of char­ity op­er­a­tions, Stephen Mor­gan, said: “Car seats have be­come es­sen­tial to daily life for all chil­dren to keep them safe, the law in­sists upon it – un­less a child is dis­abled. Why should dis­abled chil­dren be any less en­ti­tled to travel in safety? A spe­cial­ist seat can cost up to £3,000, which means fam­i­lies are vir­tu­ally house­bound while they at­tempt to raise the money. Of­ten, with no way to raise this quickly, they turn to char­i­ties to help.”

If you think you could help Mared by do­nat­ing or fundrais­ing, please visit www.newlifechar­ity.­da­cynontaf Al­ter­na­tively, con­tact Suzie or a mem­ber of the team on 01543 462 777 or email lo­cal@ newlifechar­

Six-year-old Mared Lewis has a rare form of epilepsy

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