This is a story about a little boy called Henry and the fun, powered wheelchair that gave him the chance to “find his feet”.
Henry was diagnosed with Type 2 Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) when he was 13 months old. SMA is a rare, genetic disease that causes muscle weakness and progressive loss of movement.
It means that he is unable to roll, crawl, stand or walk. Simple things that the majority of toddlers and their families take for granted.
Henry’s mum, Claire, found out about the Wizzybug Loan Scheme through his physiotherapist and SMA Support UK.
The Wizzybug Loan Scheme allows disabled children up to the age of 5 to have a powered wheelchair on loan completely free of charge. These wonderful machines have been designed and built by the charity Designability and give young children the opportunity to experience their “first wheels”!
When he was 20 months old, Henry and his family made the drive to Designability’s HQ in Bath to pick up his Wizzybug. They shared their experience in this short film.
Claire tells us: “For the first days he preferred to drive in circles, but it didn’t take him long to master it accurately to the nearest millimetre!”
The great thing about Wizzybug is that children as young as 18 months can master its controls which gives them the ability to play with their friends and gain a bit of independence.
Now Henry has Wizzybug, he can use it at nursery, on day trips in the UK and even on abroad on holiday to Portugal. The nifty little machine can be completely dis-assembled which makes it perfect for families to transport wherever they go.
Claire feels that it has made a dramatic difference to Henry’s quality of life and added: “It has enabled Henry to find his freedom.
“For the first time he is able to choose where he goes and explore the world in his own way.”