IMAGINE being unable to move, or speak, or communicate in any way. Then imagine that there was a bit of kit out there that could help you “talk” with the people you love most in the world. You’d want it, wouldn’t you?
Eight-year-old Marcus Jefferson suffered oxygen starvation when he was born. It has left him with spastic quadriplegia, the most severe form of cerebral palsy.
He can’t move his arms and legs, and he can’t speak. But he can move his eyes. His school – Hob Moor Oaks – has a special “eye gaze” computer. By sensing what he is looking at, it makes it possible for him to communicate.
But he only has limited use of the computer at school, because he has to share it with other children. And when he comes home, there is nothing like it at all. It is hard for most of us to conceive how frustrating and even lonely that must be for Marcus.
His mum Leanne wants to buy an eye gaze computer that Marcus can use at the family home in Dunnington. She’s hoping to raise £10,000 to meet the cost – and she’s already made a great start. A fundraising drive at Christmas brought in more than £2,000. Now family and friends are pitching in to help raise the rest.
We often report heartbreaking cases of people being denied the treatment they need, especially in these times of austerity. But Marcus’s case really is special.
So if you’re feeling in the mood to give a little, what better place to start than by helping make it possible for a little boy to tell his mum he loves her?