Plea for special seat for cerebral palsy child

Rhiannon Seaton with mum Emma Pollock-Clarke
Rhiannon Seaton with mum Emma Pollock-Clarke

The family of a Thrapston girl who has cerebral palsy are appealing for help to buy the youngster a special seat so she can relax in comfort and safety.

Two-year-old Rhiannon Seaton has no conscious movement in her limbs, as well as poor head control, and suffers from frequent epileptic seizures as well as gastric reflux.

Although she has a normal high chair, Rhiannon is not able to sit in it for more than an hour at a time because she becomes too uncomfortable.

Mum Emma Pollock-Clarke said the only other option is to prop Rhiannon on the family sofa – but this is difficult as there are three other children in the home which makes it unsafe for Rhiannon.

She added: “When I am cooking in the kitchen I prefer Rhiannon to be with me in her high chair rather than propped up on the sofa where I can’t see her.

“Unfortunately, she can only tolerate about an hour in this seat, which means she is then too upset to sit at the table to eat with the family.

“And if she is uncomfortable there is more chance of her having a seizure. It’s a vicious circle.”

Rhiannon’s health team suggested a specialist P-Pod for her – a seat moulded to Rhiannon’s body shape to offer her appropriate postural support and increased comfort as well as reduce the incidence of gastric reflux.

However, there is no statutory funding available for this type of seating, which will cost £1,000.

Emma contacted children’s disability charity Newlife Foundation for help, which funds equipment grants for disabled children.

Newlife said demand for its services has shot up in recent months and the charity is appealing for people to donate towards the cost of equipment for children in the county.

Newlife is currently working with two families in Northamptonshire, with equipment needs totalling £9,122.

How you could help

If you would like to help raise money to fund a specialist seat for Rhiannon, the Newlife Community Fundraising Team can be contacted on freephone 0800 988 4640.

Any individual or organisation thinking of running a fundraising event is asked to contact the team, who can offer support and guidance.

Alternatively, visit www.justgiving.com/RhiannonSeaton.