Amy and Dean Angell, from Newton Abbott in Devon, are the proud parents of four children including five-year-old Elliott.
Elliott and his twin sister Elsie were born 9 weeks early and spent 5 weeks in a neonatal intensive care unit.
“At around 9 months old we noticed Elliott was not hitting any milestones,” said Amy. “A few months later, our worst fears were confirmed. Elliott has brain damage from lack of oxygen due to being premature resulting in spastic diplegic cerebral palsy. This affects both of his legs causing severe stiffness making him unable to sit unaided or walk.”
There is an operation that could change Elliott’s life. However, the surgery and associated physiotherapy cost £75,000, and are not available on the NHS. The surgery, called Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy, would allow him to walk and even play football with his friends.
As well as managing the pressures of parenting, Amy juggles her complex caregiving duties for Elliott with running a fundraising page she set up with her husband, called Finding Elliott’s Feet, and organises awareness and fundraising events.
Add to that Amy’s daily tasks like housework, food shopping, managing Elliott’s school run, and helping him emotionally and physically get through his intensive regular physiotherapy sessions, and it’s no surprise that she finds little time for herself.
This has taken a toll on Amy’s mental health. Her husband Dean has worked in the electrical sector for over 20 years and was able to call on the EIC for help.
Through EIC’s Employee Assistance Programme (EAP), Amy and Dean were given assistance with some of their medical and household bills, to take some of the weight off their shoulders. The charity also helped connect Amy with a hypnotherapist, who equipped her with useful coping mechanisms through regular sessions.
The charity helped Amy with managing Elliott’s fundraising page to allow her to spend more time focusing on her and her family’s wellbeing.
Taking care of an ill child is one of the most challenging experiences any parent can face. It is both mentally and physically demanding and can result in the deterioration of one’s mental health and wellbeing. For as little as £1, a donation to powerLottery will help EIC to share the financial and emotional burden of people like Amy and help them look forward to a happier future.
All you need to do to show your support is download the EIC powerLottery app and tap the app to play. For further information, please contact Jess Vailima: firstname.lastname@example.org.