Parents constantly 'terrified' for three-year-old disabled daughter

THE parents of a three-year-old girl from Hemsworth with severe cerebral palsy say they are constantly  "terrified" for her.

Tuesday, 10th September 2019, 11:57 am
Imogen Holmes pictured with her parents Briony Winstanley and Stephen Holmes.

Imogen Holmes suffers from spastic quadriplegic cerebral palsy, which has left her unable to speak and with only limited use of her arms and legs.

Imogen cannot control her own muscles and is unable to walk, talk, crawl or sit unaided.

Her hips are painfully dislocating and her spine is starting to twist.

Imogen also has a rare brain condition and her parents have been told she is likely to start suffering seizures.

Disabled children's charity Newlife said Imogen urgently needs a seat that keeps her in the correct position.

The charity has launched an appeal to raise the £1,000 needed to buy Imogen a custom moulded chair called a P Pod.

Imogen's mother Briony Winstanley, said: “Her hips are already dislocating and her ribs have shifted to one side, so her body is twisting out of shape.

"We know this will only get worse until she has the right seat.

“I hold her on my knee most of the time to keep her safe, but she’s getting too big and it doesn’t help her posture.

“Even propping Imogen up on the sofa is risky. She can’t support the weight of her own head properly so it suddenly drops forward.

"She’s bitten herself several times and I worry she will stop breathing if she can’t lift her head back up.

"She also has uncontrollable spasms which make her arms and legs jerk violently, so she could fall.

“Having nowhere safe and secure to put Imogen also means I can’t always give her one-year-old sister, Delilah, the attention she needs, which is hard.”

Imogen also has a rare brain condition and it is likely she will suffer seizures, which would be dangerous if she was sitting unsupported.

Miss Winstanley added: “Everyday life is really difficult right now. Imogen’s dad, Stephen, and I are constantly terrified for her and of what the future holds, but this seat would make all the difference.”

Carrick Brown, Newlife’s senior manager for care services, said: “The right kind of postural support can make a huge difference to children like Imogen.

"Not only does it reduce the likelihood of conditions deteriorating and additional conditions like scoliosis from occurring - it can reduce the need for invasive surgery further down the road.

“We urgently want to get Imogen the seat she needs but we simply don’t have the funds right now - so we are appealing to the local community for help.”

Imogen and her parents travelled to Panama in Central America earlier this year where Imogen underwent specialist stem cell treatment, which the family hope will see her make some progress towards walking and talking.

That trip to the Stem Cell Institute was made possible after £20,000 was raised during a previous appeal.

Imogen’s grandmother Pauline Winstanley, of Knottingley, aid the family has seen some improvements in Imogen since the stem cell treatment.

Mrs Winstanley said small improvements include Imogen being able to hold her hand out and wave.

Mrs Winstanley added: "When you talk to her understands a lot more. She is sleeping a lot better."

If you’re able to help the appeal to buy Imogen a custom chair, call 01543 431 444, Text ‘NEWLIFE Imogen’ to 70500, visit the website at www.newlife.support/HelpImogenor email local@newlifecharity.co.uk