A specialist seating system has been truly life-changing for four-year-old Victoria.
Victoria – who her mum describes as “a miracle from God” – was born at 25 weeks’ gestation and suffered brain damage at birth leaving her unable to sit, walk or control her head.
After seeing her daughter use a specialised seat, known as a P-Pod chair, during respite care at a hospice her mum, Liliana, was certain that the equipment could be life-changing for not only Victoria but the rest of the family too.
A P-Pod chair is a custom-made seat designed specifically for disabled children and adults which provides effective postural support.
Children Today helped provide the equipment with funding and launched a fundraising appeal to help secure the remaining funds needed.
Liliana has described how the P-Pod chair has had huge impact on Victoria’s happiness.
“I can’t tell you how much this has changed our lives. It’s just perfect – exactly what she needed. Victoria is so much happier now that she can see her surroundings better.
“Before we had the chair Victoria was either in bed or in a pram as she can’t sit up unaided, but she’d become too big for the pram and she was completely isolated in the bed as it has barriers for her safety.
“Victoria may not be able to talk, but she made it very clear through her behaviour that she disliked being in bed away from everyone else. In her P-Pod chair she can be part of the family. When we have guests she’s included now instead of being in a different room to everyone else.
“The chair has also helped with her sleep as she used to get very unsettled in the bed. It’s very comfortable and I know she’s safe and secure in the chair.”
Victoria’s P-Pod chair includes a belt and head support, to help keep her upright, as well as wheels, so that she can be easily moved between rooms at home.
“Being able to easily move Victoria between rooms is amazing. She can now come in the kitchen with me while I’m cooking and there are more opportunities for her younger brother, Gabriel, and I to interact with her and talk to her. Gabriel loves Victoria so much and it’s wonderful to see how they are more connected now.
“We’re now able to enjoy some of life’s simple pleasures, like watching TV together as a family.”
The seat has also helped with Victoria’s development. Liliana explains:
“Her head control has improved a lot. She’s now turning her head from left to right as she’s able to practice and develop her movement in the P-Pod chair, she couldn’t do that lying in the bed.”
The family also hope to get a ramp installed at their home soon, which will enable them to take Victoria out in the garden too.
“I could never have afforded the equipment, so I am very grateful to Children Today for the help. This chair really has opened up her world!”