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Thetford teen's new lease of life thanks to wheelchair

PUBLISHED: 09:13 03 March 2010 | UPDATED: 21:57 07 July 2010

A THETFORD teenager with cerebral palsy has boosted his independence thanks to a new state of the art wheelchair.

A THETFORD teenager with cerebral palsy has boosted his independence thanks to a new state of the art wheelchair.

Sixteen-year-old Cristiano Alves has Cerebral Palsy, which affects all four of his limbs and means that he has limited independent movement and requires the use of a wheelchair on a day-to-day basis.

Now, Cristiano, who studies IT at City College in Norwich and learns Japanese in his spare time, is sporting a high-tech powered wheelchair that allows him to sit, stand and even lie down whenever he wants.

Mum Emilia Alves, said “This chair is helping Cristiano a lot. “He can stand on his own, which helps strengthen his legs, increase his independence and reduces the need for him to be transferred to other equipment like standing frames.

“He was so happy when it arrived because he can do everything he wants to and without help.

“The standing function means he can reach things he has never been able to, sit down when he chooses and stand up when he wants.”

Cerebral palsy is a permanent condition which effects the development of movement and posture and limits independence.

The functions of the new Balder Finesse Powered Wheelchair, from Caudwell Children which donates specialist equipment, means Cristiano, who had to undergo major back surgery last year to help correct his posture, can independently change his position freely to make himself more comfortable and reduce the need for scheduled physiotherapy.

Chief executive officer for Caudwell Children, Trudi Beswick, said: “The Balder Finesse Chair is a fantastic piece of equipment, which addresses both physical and social restrictions a disabled child can experience. Unfortunately, these benefits come at a high price that is often out of reach for families.

“On average, families with a disabled child need three pieces of costly equipment to provide basic care, we try to relive these financial pressures whilst helping meet a youngsters needs.

“We would urge anyone in the region looking for help funding equipment, treatment or therapy to contact us immediately.”

To find out more or apply to Caudwell Children call 0845 300 1348, or e-mail www.caudwellchildren.com


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