NEWLIFE CAMPAIGN: How a specialist buggy for youngster Jude will help to provide him with a better quality of life

Jude Houseman with dad Damien and mum Karen
Jude Houseman with dad Damien and mum Karen
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The Lancashire Post is supporting children's charity Newlife in our campaign to raise thousands of pounds to help give disabled Lancashire children a better quality of life

In October we revealed how the charity needed £15,500 to help give 16 disabled children in the county.

Since then, that number has risen to 18 children and the amount needed has risen to £17,500.

Four-year-old Jude Houseman from Garstang is one of these children.

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Jude needs a £2,765 specialist buggy with extra support for his weak muscles and space to accommodate emergency intervention equipment as well as the ventilator, oxygen cylinder and suction machine needed to keep him alive - which takes up to an hour to load onto a buggy.

A rare heart condition stops Jude’s body producing a vital enzyme. This affects all his muscles and caused his diaphragm to collapse.

Jude has been in hospital since March - when he was put into an induced coma for a week.

Although a tracheostomy and ventilator has given him a new lease of life, Jude’s condition also means he lost the ability to walk, so he was bed bound and unable to leave the ward safely until Newlife provided him with the emergency loan of a specialist buggy.

Newlife’s emergency loan service is the only one in the country which provides emergency equipment to disabled and terminally children, often within 72 hours of the application being approved.

The charity also works with the family and local health services to ensure a long-term solution.

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Dad Damien said: “The loan buggy brought us so much joy.

"It meant his mum, Karen, and I could leave the hospital bed and ward with him to visit places like the Emmerdale set, the Trafford Centre and Tatton Park – but we need a permanent one for when Jude comes out of hospital. NHS Fylde and Wyre will only provide a basic buggy which won’t meet his needs.

"Jude can’t control his own head and his legs have painful muscle spasms, but this buggy gives him all the support he needs.

"It also provides the extra space for all the medical equipment we have to take with us wherever we go. It takes us up to an hour just to get ready to leave the house – but we won’t be able to go out at all without a specialist buggy for him."

Anyone who is able to help provide Jude with a permanent specialist buggy should contact Newlife URGENTLY on 01543 431444.

To donate £10 text JUDE10 to 70070; email local@newlifecharity.co.uk; or visit the website at www.newlifecharity.co.uk/lancashire