A disabled girl unable to play with traditional toys has been thrown a lifeline by a children’s charity.
Little Rebecca Pearce has been given specialist play equipment worth £2,000 by Caudwell Children.
The six-year-old, of Carollais Close, Canterbury, cannot play with normal toys because of a range of conditions that prevent her from speaking or moving independently.
Rebecca Pearce with her sensory equipment
Her mum Emma, 40, said: “She’s loving the new equipment.
“She’s so excited and is having a great time playing with it all.
“She used to play with sensory equipment at the Sure Start centre in Kingsmead Road, but hasn’t been able to since she started school, because it closes at 3pm and isn’t open at weekends.”
At nine months old, Rebecca’s parents noticed she was unable to sit unaided and she was sent for an MRI scan.
She has since been diagnosed with the rare brain condition holopronsencephaly, cerebral palsy, curvature of the spine, the muscle spasm disorder dystonia, and coloboma, which causes visual impairment.
Playtime is such fun now for Rebecca
Her daily life is dominated by a complex and intense regime of therapies and appointments.
The new equipment includes bubble chairs and a projector for the wall.
Emma, a staff nurse, said: “Having her own sensory equipment means so much.
“She will be able to access it whenever she needs to and it will help her development.
“Anything specialist is always a lot of money, just so your child can do something every other child takes for granted" - Rebecca's mum Emma
“Because of Rebecca’s needs, she doesn’t get any stimulation from normal toys.
“Anything specialist is always a lot of money, just so your child can do something every other child takes for granted.”
Caudwell Children said the equipment provided a lifeline to the Pearce family, but issued a desperate appeal for funds to enable more children like Rebecca to benefit from donations.
Chief executive Trudi Beswick said: “This sensory equipment, which is not available on the NHS, is crucial in helping Rebecca’s day-to-day life, but our funds are running low and unless we get the support of the community, donations like this will disappear.”