A nine-year-old boy with cerebral palsy is trapped in his Bedford home because his NHS wheelchair is too hefty for his disabled mum to push.
Bartek Wilczynski’s muscles are so tight that he can only crawl to get around and has no strength to push himself in the hefty wheelchair.
He is reliant upon his widowed mum Magdalena, but she suffers from agonising arthritis in her spine and hips.
Bartek’s wheelchair is simply too heavy for her to push around for any length of time. This means the boy is virtually housebound, and can only watch his twin Kacper and older brother, Jakub, from the window as they play outside.
Magdalena has applied to the NHS for a lightweight chair that Bartek could propel himself, but Bedford and Luton Wheelchair Service says the current wheelchair is adequate.
Disabled children’s charity Newlife heard of the family’s plight and vowed to help raise the £1,875 needed to buy the lightweight chair. Because they don’t have the funds themeslves, they are appealing for T&C readers to help them.
Magdalena said: “Bartek is missing out on so much. He’s desperate to go outside, to play and join in with his friends. He wants to try activities like wheelchair basketball and racing, but this is impossible.
“He is a happy boy who loves to socialise, but now he feels isolated and different, which he hates.
“He needs the freedom and independence all children should have. Instead he’s stuck inside, watching the world go on.
“Having a lightweight wheelchair would mean Bartek could go outside and do all the things he wants to. It’s the chance for a better quality of life – which is all every parent wants for their child.”
Newlife’s senior manager Carrick Brown said: “Disabled children need the right equipment at the right time and which suits their family’s individual circumstances.
“We know budgets are stretched but it’s simply not good enough to apply a one-size-fits-all mentality.
“Bartek urgently needs a lightweight wheelchair so he can push his own wheels. It will quite literally give him the freedom to make the most of his life and fulfil his potential.
“However, as much as we would love to help Bartek and his family, we simply don’t have the funds available – so we are calling on the people in Bedford for help. Please if you can, make a donation today or fundraise to help Bartek, as soon as possible.”
Bartek is one of 28 children in the local region on Newlife’s waiting list in desperate need of specialist equipment.