Please help us raise money for a safe living area and sensory garden for Sam.
Sam was born at 6 months, he weighed 790g (2lbs) and spent 7 months in hospital yo yo-ing between the intensive care and high dependency unit. He stopped breathing many times and after 7 months, he eventually came home on oxygen due to his chronic lung disease.
Sam’s prematurity and chronic lung disease meant that he was extremely vulnerable and could not mix with other babies and toddlers as a cold or virus could have made him extremely poorly. This meant that Sam missed out on a lot of explorative play, baby groups, toddler groups and generally going out into the world. Play at home was very difficult for Sam due to him having little energy and less mobility than other children, at one point toys always had to be taken to Sam because he could not crawl or shuffle to get them himself. Feeding was also extremely hard because of reflux and because it took all of Sam’s energy to eat when he was having trouble breathing as well. At 18 months, Sam did pick up a virus which made him very ill, he was again ventilated in hospital and it was ‘touch and go’ whether he survived.
Sam’s very challenging beginning and being so poorly in his very early life has had a huge impact upon Sam. As parents, we have had to give up work to care for him. Sam is now nearly 6. He aspires to be like all other 5 year old little boys. He loves learning at school and his favourite thing to do is to play outside. Sam copes with complex needs, anxiety, breathlessness and autistic traits every day. He is also developmentally behind his peers in all areas; physically, socially and emotionally. Sam’s speech and mobility are significantly impacted. This makes it very hard for him to enjoy the activities which other 5 year old boys enjoy for example: Going to the park, attending birthday parties and generally going for a day out. As Sam cannot keep up with his peers and cannot communicate with them, he finds activities outside of the house stressful and anxiety provoking. Sam therefore feels happiest and safest playing at home.
We are aiming to create a safe living area and sensory garden for Sam so that he can feel happy and comfortable at home. We have begun work on our house and have unfortunately run out of money for the project. We have extended our house because Sam does not have spacial awareness and often falls over things and bumps his head. He is unsteady on his feet. The extension will give Sam the space he needs to move around and play in whilst still being seen by us. The extension has also made the house more open to light which Sam loves.However, we need some funding to finish off this work. In it’s present state, Sam cannot play in the extension.
We are also aiming to create a downstairs bathroom for Sam because he finds it hard to climb the stairs to go to the toilet, quite often he just feels too worn out and we have to help him up the stairs. We would like a bath with sensory lights for Sam because he loves water and this would be the perfect place for him to relax and de-stress when he is feeling anxious or stressed.
Sam’s favourite place is outside. At the moment, our garden is unsuitable for Sam as it is uneven, has no grass and has lots of rocks. The garden requires proper landscaping for Sam to be able to use it. Our aim is to make a safe, sensory garden with a water feature, gentle sounds and different colours and textures. We know that Sam will spend hours playing outside in a garden like this and that he will enjoy playing with his friends there too. The Family Fund has kindly donated a playhouse for Sam, but unfortunately, Sam is unable to use it until the garden is accessible for him.
Can you please help us to transform our son’s life by helping us finish the project we have begun for Sam? It will completely change our son’s world and put a huge smile upon his face. It will also improve Sam’s development physically, socially and emotionally.
Please make Sam's dream come true!
Thank you for taking the time to read this.