Organization: Easter Seals Ontario
Grant Amount: $1500
Getting the Boost: Equipment Funding Program
Who it Helps: Children and youth with physical disabilities

Nathan was born after a textbook pregnancy and healthy delivery. Andrea and James, first-time parents, had every indication Nathan was a perfectly healthy baby. However, within days Nathan became increasingly lethargic and was not feeding well. Andrea and her husband rushed him back to the hospital. It was there that Nathan stopped breathing. Tests revealed that Nathan was having seizures caused by hyperinsulinism.

The lack of oxygen immediately caused a brain injury for the newborn and little Nathan ended up blind and non-verbal. He also has cerebral palsy and an extremely rare infantile seizure disorder as a result of the brain injury.

Nathan, now two, is unable to stand, walk or hold himself up, and requires 24/7 care. He is on a specialized diet and must be fed through a feeding tube. Being unable to support his own body weight and sit up on his own has made bath time very difficult. Even the simple pleasure of taking Nathan outside for a short walk has not been possible because he isn’t able to comfortably sit in a normal stroller without support for his head and neck.

Through the generous support of committed donors like the Dufferin Community Foundation and Booster Grant sponsor, Lara Gray of Edward Jones, Easter Seals was able to help Nathan get a customized stroller and a bath seat. The stroller was custom fit to support Nathan’s body in a comfortable sitting position and has allowed Nathan to enjoy stimulation through motion on walks around their neighbourhood, much to his delight.

“The ‘bingo’ stroller has been a life-saver,” said Andrea. The ability to have Nathan in a comfortable, stable, upright position in this specialized stroller has also been helpful in the home too, as a safe seating piece of equipment.

Being in this stroller for walks is one of the only things these days that makes Nathan happy, and it is also a critical piece of equipment to ensure his safety. Andrea and James are incredibly thankful: “He just loves it because it is so comfortable, and his little body can just relax in it as he is fully supported, while enjoying the movement of being on a walk.”

Funding from donors to Easter Seals has been critical to helping families purchase essential mobility and accessibility equipment for their children that not only provide simple pleasures but fundamental safety and accessibility.

Read the news release here.