A mum is appealing to the local community to help her secure a specialist tricycle for her disabled three-year-old
A lonely disabled three-year-old boy can’t play outdoors with other children at Litherland Moss Nursery School.
Paul Cooke, from Litherland, finds it difficult to ride a standard bike with stabilisers, unaided, because of his cerebral palsy and chronic lung disease, which affect his mobility.
His mum, Michaela Cooke, 24, is hoping that the local community can help her secure a specialist tricycle that would have a huge impact on Paul’s wellbeing.
This was recommended to her by Caudwell Children; the national charity that provides practical and emotional support to disabled children and their families.
Michaela, also from Litherland, said: “Paul is missing out on so much and in comparison to his friends he does very little outside the house. He struggles to participate in the activities that other children take part in and I’m desperate to change this.”
“There are so many things that my son can’t do because after five minutes of walking he can’t carry on, he just slumps down!”
“But the tricycle that the charity has recommended would allow Paul to be able to do something for himself, it would give him back a bit of childhood that he’s missing out on.”
Michaela would love to see her son gain more independence.
She said: “It’s heart-breaking knowing that he can’t join in with his friends and his six-year-old brother Rueben, so I’m determined to get Paul the tricycle.“
Unfortunately, the tricycle that was recommended to her costs £1,199, which Michaela can’t afford.
But thanks to fundraising support from Caudwell Children, Michaela is looking to raise the money needed for the tricycle.
The charity has created a Just Giving pagefor Paul and they are approaching other charitable trusts, grant giving organisations, rotary clubs and masons lodges in order to raise the cash needed for Paul’s tricycle.
Michaela also wants to appeal to the local community and businesses to give her a helping hand.
She said: “With their support we can make life so much better for Paul and he’d finally be able to play outside with his brother and his friends, something I’ve dreamt of seeing him do for so long.”
Also, if Michaela raises the funds for the tricycle, it will allow her son to do much more than simply play with her friends and family.
Michaela added: “The trikes are specially designed to assist disabled children in their physical development and rehabilitation, and they are engineered to make pedalling that much easier.”
“So whilst Paul is having fun he will also be improving his core strength and coordination, developing muscle tone in his legs and improving his gross motor skills.”
“Without this equipment I’m afraid that Paul could become a prisoner in his own home.”
Mark Bushell, from Caudwell Children, said: “A specialist tricycle not only benefits the child, it has a positive impact on the whole family, allowing them to get out of the house and do things together.”
“Unbelievably, there are an estimated 70,000 children in the UK who would benefit from the correct mobility equipment.”
“Paul’s case highlights the support that is needed for children with a condition that affects their mobility.”
“I want members of the public and the business community to do whatever it takes to support the family through their Just Giving page.”
“With their help Paul can get the equipment that he so desperately needs to improve his health and wellbeing.”
You can support Michaela and her son through her Just Giving page here: www.justgiving.com/trike4paul
You can also donate by texting: FWAW98 £amount to 70070.