Star Superkid Rio Vicary is sleeping peacefully – after being provided with a specialist bed to give him the perfect night’s rest.
The three-year-old from Base Green has the rare, incurable genetic condition Angelman syndrome, which means he will never be able to walk or talk, and has albinism, leaving him blind.
He has now been loaned a high-sided bed by the Newlife Foundation charity, which supports families of children with limited lifespans.
Mum Gemma said: “We needed somewhere for Rio to go where he can’t hurt himself.
“Because of his condition he is constantly on the go and doesn’t sleep properly – he just catnaps throughout the night – so a normal bed or even a hospital bed wouldn’t keep him safe.”
She added: “He was sleeping in a cot, but he regularly got his limbs stuck between the bars and I was afraid he would end up breaking an arm or leg.
“Rio doesn’t cry and has reduced awareness of pain, so we wouldn’t necessarily know if he had hurt himself.
“We desperately needed a specialist high-sided profiling bed and Newlife came to our rescue.”
Gemma said the charity had been a ‘huge support’.
“Not only have they provided the bed on loan, they have funded specialist seating so he can relax at home in comfort.
“Now we know when we go to bed at night that Rio will be safe – safety is the biggest issue with his condition.”
The bed was provided through Newlife Foundation’s emergency equipment loan service, called Just Can’t Wait.
The service aims to deliver wheelchairs, buggies, beds, seating and hoists within 72 hours direct to families’ homes anywhere in the UK.
Carrick Brown, equipment loan services manager, said: “We are responding to the increased demand for this service to offer support to more families during times of increasing statutory cuts, transition of needs – for instance when a child’s prognosis is uncertain – or as a short-term loan while waiting for provision of equipment on a permanent basis.”
The charity has so far awarded over 170 equipment grants totalling almost £200,000 in South Yorkshire. Rio was given an award at The Star’s Superkids ceremony in 2011.