The mother of a 7-year-old boy, who has cerebral palsy and right hemiplegia, has thanked a charity for providing a specialist tricycle that has allowed her son to play outside with his friends.
Alison Kennard, 30, from Ribbleton in Preston, said that she was fearful that her son, Ethan, was at risk of becoming a prisoner in his own home due to his condition.
“Although Ethan is a bright and funny boy, his disability often makes him anxious,” she said. “Ethan’s condition affects his posture, movement and mobility. The right side of his body is weak and he has low muscle tone and control.
“As a result he is unable to ride a standard bicycle, something that he desperately wanted to do, which has affected his confidence. It’s been heart-breaking to see him watching his friends enjoying themselves on their bikes whilst he’s been unable to join in.”
But now thanks to national charity Caudwell Children, the national charity that provides practical and emotional support to disabled children and their families, Ethan has finally been given the chance of playing outside with his friends.
Dedicated fundraising support from the charity helped Ethan’s family to raise the £1,462 needed to buy a specialist tricycle for the Brockholes Wood Community Primary School pupil.
Alison says that the tricycle has not only helped her son but has had a positive impact on the whole family. She said: “The trike has made Ethan so happy. Within five minutes of riding it his attitude had completely changed. To see the transformation was remarkable.
“It’s given him so much more confidence. Teenagers have passed by and stared at the tricycle and made comments like ‘that’s so cool’. Other children who don’t even know Ethan have gravitated towards him to ask him about it, so now he’s talking to more people.
“You can’t imagine how happy this has made me feel. I can’t thank Caudwell Children enough for making this happen.”
The tricycle has been specially designed to assist children in their physical development and rehabilitation and Alison believes it will have real health benefits for his son. She said: “The tricycle has been engineered to make pedalling that much easier. So the regular exercise that he will get from using the tricycle will not only encourage self-mobility, but will also help strengthen his entire body and lower limbs.”
Mark Bushell, Spokesman for Caudwell Children said: “We’re delighted that Ethan has received his new tricycle. It will not only provide physical therapy but will also develop an increased sense of independence, which is so important for children of his age.
“Unfortunately, these highly specialised pieces of equipment come at a price, but with the continued support of the local community we can help even more children like Ethan.”