Young boy with cerebral palsy is finally able to play with friends
21st March 2017
Alfie Porter-Smith is finally able to play with his friends at school thanks to a brand new set of wheels called a Wizzybug.
Alfie, 4, has a rare form of cerebral palsy and is barely able to walk unaided. A lack of strength in his right hand means that he struggles to use a manual wheelchair to power himself along.
Born prematurely at 35 weeks, his parents Fiona and Rod knew something was wrong as early as 3 months because of his poor head control.
Finally, after much persistence with healthcare professionals, he was diagnosed with cerebral palsy at 9 months old.
The Wizzybug filled a gap in support for the family
The family, from Dinas Powys, were frustrated at the lack of ongoing services and therapies on offer from the NHS for their little boy as he developed at a slower pace to others his age.
Thankfully, they found out about the charity Designability who offered Alfie a way to move around on his own easily for the first time in his life.
His mum Fiona said: “What Alfie really wanted to be able to do was ‘run’ around with his friends and keep up with their fun and games. We found out about Designability’s Wizzybug Loan Scheme when a friend of a friend shared the information over Facebook.
“One of the ways we knew Wizzybug would make a difference to Alfie’s life was at school. Before Wizzy, he had no independence and felt as though he was missing out.”
Now Alfie no longer feels left out at school
“On the first day he took it to school, I stood waiting for him to come out at the end of the day. When I saw him appear in his Wizzybug, with children walking beside him, I cried my eyes out. He had transformed into the most popular kid in school overnight!”
When at school, Alfie can now move from classroom to classroom freely in his Wizzybug and all of his friends think it’s such a ‘cool car’. It helps him to feel included and accepted when he used to feel so left out.
Fiona added: “Wizzybug is so child-friendly and has filled a gap that the NHS in our area were not able to. It really does come everywhere with us – to the cinema, the seaside, the zoo and breaks away. Alfie also likes to take it to church every week.
“We feel so passionately about Wizzybugs that I want to spread the word as much as I can with local parents whose children might benefit from one. As Alfie gets older I just know that this start in Wizzybug will have been so important to him.
“He absolutely loves it and the rest of the family love it, too.”
Find out more about Wizzybugs
Wizzybugs are available for free to children aged 14 months – 5 years who have a disability, thanks to donations. To find out more, please visit the Wizzybug page or call us on 01225 824103.