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Frank’s mum shares how Wizzybug has given him the chance to get up to mischief

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Young boy smiling in Wizzybug powered wheelchair in a living room

Frank is able to giggle and play on the move independently for the first time, thanks to his Wizzybug.

Why Frank needed our help

Frank became seriously ill with meningitis when he was a newborn baby. It was a miracle that he even survived, but the meningitis left him with brain damage resulting in dystonic quad cerebral palsy – which means that his whole body, including his face, is affected.

At 2 and a half he cannot sit, crawl, walk or talk and so relies on mum or dad to move him around and hold him.

What we did

Kate, Frank’s mum, documents his journey on social media and found out about the Wizzybug Loan Scheme through someone who follows her updates. When she first heard about Wizzybugs she instantly applied with the support of their physiotherapist.

As someone who so often has to adjust to new assistive equipment, Frank became very tired and overwhelmed at his Wizzybug assessment. But, as soon as they got Wizzybug home, Frank fell in love it.

His disability means that he has very limited use of his hands, so his mum and dad didn’t expect him to be able to operate it for a while but, on his very first try at home, he was doing doughnuts around the kitchen! It was such a special moment that his parents were fighting back the tears.

How we made a difference

There have been already been so many magical moments spent with Wizzybug, as Kate shares:

“Frank has a go in his Wizzybug almost every day. As he is non-verbal, he uses eye pointing as a means of communication so he will stare at his Wizzybug to let me know that he wants to go in it. He hasn’t fully mastered it just yet, but he can move around and the excitement on his face when he does is just priceless.”

“A week or so after we got Wizzybug, he was in the kitchen in it and I had put some music on for us to have a little dance around to. Frank obviously had other ideas because he turned around and wizzed out the door!

It was incredible - the first time he had been able to ‘get up and walk away’ from us. When I caught up with him he had the cheekiest grin on his face - clearly he didn't like my choice of music!”

They experienced another great moment when they had friends with children who are a similar age to Frank round for a BBQ during the summer:

"I put Frank in his Wizzybug by his friends and left him for a while to watch from a distance. All the other kids were fascinated by his Wizzybug and he just looked so very proud!

It was the first time I had really seen him alone with friends as I am usually always holding him. It was so lovely to see.”

Frank is always smiling and laughing despite the many challenges he faces in life. He loves being with his friends and family and Wizzybug has slotted into their routine perfectly.

When Frank was younger, his mum found it hard to watch other toddlers running around and chatting away, as she was so worried that she may never get to see Frank do the same. But, as time has gone on, she has learnt not to compare and has adjusted to their new ‘normal’. Their normality now includes Wizzybug which is helping Frank to do so much more than he ever could before.

Please note

(1) For permission to use this information or to access images please speak to our Marketing and Communications Officer, Fiona Cromwell  fionacromwell@designability.org.uk 01225 824103.

(2) We respect everyone who comes to us for help. So while their stories are true, client names and images may have been changed to protect their privacy. Thank you for understanding.