Parents’ plea for help in raising funds for specialist wheelchair for William, aged 7

The family of a seven-year-old boy who has survived a stroke – and a traumatic start to life - are appealing for help to buy a specialist wheelchair for him.

Monday, 8th April 2019, 6:00 am
William Ryder, of Goldthorpe, has defied the odds and the doctors to become the miracle child his parents, Michelle and Paul, longed for. Last year he suffered a stoke, and now his family and charity New Life are appealing for help in raising the funds needed to buy him a specialist wheelchair.

William Ryder, of Goldthorpe in Rotherham, has defied the odds and the doctors to become the miracle child his parents, Michelle and Paul, longed for.

He was conceived after seven failed IVF attempts and spent the first two years of his life in hospital.

He suffered a stroke in the womb when his twin died and was born prematurely, causing a severe and life-threatening bleed to the brain.

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Such a traumatic start has left William with profound brain damage, partial blindness and epilepsy, with him sometimes having up to 40 seizures a day. Last year William suffered a massive stroke that almost killed him, and stripped him of all the skills he’d learnt, including how to walk.

Michelle said: “William is our world, he’s been through so much and yet he just keeps smiling.

“We’ve already spent £4,000 on specialist buggies for him over the last few years. He’s completely grown out of one, and the other just isn’t fit for purpose.

“After William had the stroke it took the NHS nine months to provide a buggy so we had no choice but to buy a second hand one in the meantime. “Although it cost £1,000 it just didn’t support him properly and the brake kept falling off.”

He has now outgrown the buggy provided by NHS wheelchair services.

Newlife, the Charity for Disabled Children is asking for help raise £1,683 for a specialist wheelchair for William that would give his fragile body the support it needs as he recovers from the stroke.

Michelle added: “William has such determination and gets frustrated at having to rely on me to push him around all the time.

“And as he grows it’s getting harder for me to push him. The specialist wheelchair would give him a chance to have some independence.”

The NHS could only offer a basic wheelchair for William and have instead made a contribution towards the one recommended.

Carrick Brown, senior manager for Newlife’s Care Services, said: “We would love to be able to fund the wheelchair for William, we just don’t have the money available right now, and so are calling on the local community for help.”

Call 01543 431 444 or text NEWLIFE WIll TO 70500 to donate £10.