DESCRIBED by his mum as ‘world’s happiest boy’ Alfie Penn is smiling again after receiving a specialist wheelchair, thanks to the Steve Morgan Foundation.
The two-year-old from Warrington was born with a series of medical conditions, including epilepsy, which means he can’t speak and is prone to seizures.
He also bangs his head when he’s agitated and his mum Rachael Penn was advised he needed a specialist padded pushchair but couldn’t afford the near £700 price tag.
In desperation she applied to the Steve Morgan Foundation Enable Fund and has just received the ‘life-changing’ pushchair.
“It’s just amazing,” said Rachael. “We can take him on days out and he’s no longer restricted. It’s literally turned his life around and I can’t thank the Steve Morgan Foundation enough.
“Despite his conditions Alfie is the happiest, sweetest little boy in the world and has so much determination. He has lots of curly hair and brightens up the room just by being in it. The new pushchair has given him a new lease of life.”
Explaining Alfie’s condition, Rachael said she was aware there was a problem with her son as soon as he was born.
“Everything was delayed,” she said. “Alfie was blind until he was six months old. At nine months he stopped breathing at home after a seizure and was rushed to hospital where he was diagnosed with a condition called mesial temporal sclerosis.
“In simple terms mesial temporal sclerosis meant Alfie’s brain didn’t fuse properly and it’s impacted on his development and learning ability.”
The youngster has also been diagnosed with sensory processing disorder, global development delay, social and emotional communication disorder, seizures and has sleeping issues.
He is unable to weight bear but moves around by crawling and doing bottom shuffles. Although he’s two-and-a-half he has a mental age of a 10-month-old.
Mum Rachael is unable to carry him because of her own medical condition and found he was hurting himself in a normal pushchair by banging his head when he was agitated.
She said: “His occupational therapist recommended a pushchair with extra padding and straps that would grow with Alfie until he’s eight and reduce the risk of injury.
“However I can’t work because I’m Alfie’s carer so couldn’t afford the cost of the specialist pushchair. That’s when we applied to the Steve Morgan Foundation.
“The pushchair is absolutely amazing. I can push Alfie so easily in it and it’s easy to manoeuvre. Alfie loves it and even when he bangs his head he doesn’t hurt himself because of the padding. From the bottom of our heart, thank you Steve Morgan Foundation.”
The Enable Fund supports people of all ages in financial hardship, who are in need of specialised equipment, including mobility aids, wheelchairs, buggies, wheelchairs and trikes.
Steve Morgan CBE, who founded the Steve Morgan Foundation in 2001, said: “We’re delighted to have been able to help Alfie and see the difference it’s already made to his life.”