Special chair gives toddler Vinnie mobility



Two-year-old Vinnie was diagnosed with type 1 Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) at eight weeks old. SMA is a genetic disease, causing deterioration in nerve cells connecting the brain and spinal cord to the muscles; type 1 is the most severe.

Vinnie’s family had been campaigning to raise money for a special chair which would enable him to be more independent. “The money will be used to purchase a Permobil Koala Power chair for Vinnie so that he can move around. He currently has to stay where we put him, but this would give him his independence. He’s a toddler. He should be running around causing mayhem but he’s not able to,” said Vinnie’s mother Kelly when she approached the Axis Foundation for support.

The Axis Foundation initially agreed to donate £1500 to cover the cost of the deposit for the chair; however – touched and impressed by further successful fundraising efforts by the family –  the Foundation donated the final £6,000 needed to buy the chair. The family was also supported by local charity Heart of Darts whose chairman Ian Waller helped with the purchase.

Kingston Axis Operative Dan Ward met Vinnie and his family when Dan was doing a routine job in New Malden. Dan noticed how Kelly and the family struggled to manoeuvre Vinnie’s previous chair through the front door of their property. Dan and his colleague Murray Whitforde volunteered to fit a specialist door – which opened outward not inward – which was provided by Travis Perkin.

Axis Kingston Administration Manager Lindsay Davies, says:  “We are happy to make a family’s life easier; this project has touched our hearts at the Kingston office. We are so proud that we could not only contribute to making their lives better by changing their door, but that Axis as one could contribute to Vinnie’s chair. It will make a huge difference to the family and his way of life. The Kingston team will be keeping in close contact with the family, in order to watch Vinnie’s progress and for support.”

 

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Kelly spoke warmly about Axis’ involvement in Vinnie’s new chair, “Without the help of The Axis Foundation and the donation they’ve made to the chair, we are unsure whether we would have got it. Moving forward, the chair will grow with Vinnie and ensure he will have his independence -  you’ve changed all of our lives. 

Kelly added, “The team at Axis saw what a struggle it was on a day to basis to get Vinnie in and out of our property. They came and fitted a specialist door that opens outwards making our life so much easier. This act of kindness is greatly appreciated by our family.”

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