Watching a child take their first steps is a joy that many parents can’t wait to experience. It’s an incredible moment when they get their first taste of freedom and independence. Imagine though, instead of waiting just 12 months for your child to begin tottering along, that you had to wait three and a half years.
That’s how long Hayley’s parents had to wait after their little girl failed to take her first breath unassisted.
After Hayley was born, she was rushed to the ICU and her parents had a nervous wait to find out what the prognosis was. After ten days of extensive testing they were informed by doctors that Hayley would likely remain in a vegetative state and require specialist care due to the moderate to severe brain damage she had sustained.
Despite the shocking news, Hayley’s parents refused to accept the initial prognosis and immediately sourced physiotherapy and massage therapists for Hayley, which helped her make great inroads early on in life.
Her progress didn’t stop there.
When Hayley finally took her first steps at age three, it was with the help of a David Hart walker provided by Variety- the Children’s Charity. Previously restricted to commando crawling or rolling herself into a sitting position on the floor, the walker gave Hayley the sense of freedom and independence that she had been waiting years for.
A cheeky and bright girl, Hayley continued to surprise her therapists, doctors and family, becoming more mobile and communicative – despite being non-verbal – as the years went by.
Variety is proud to have assisted Hayley with four pieces of equipment over the 10 years since she took her first steps; including both motorised and manual wheelchairs which have enabled her to get out and about in her local community.
Now 13, Hayley has blossomed into a fiercely determined young lady who doesn’t let anything hold her back. She participates in Riding for the Disabled and has won numerous accolades, and she even holds fundraising events of her own, to give back to Variety in the hope of helping other kids with special needs just like her.
Variety – the Children’s Charity doesn’t just give life-changing equipment; we give the gift of hope to children in our communities who need a helping hand to achieve their full potential regardless of background or ability.
Let us help you. For more information on Variety grants, please visit variety.org.au