Taking care of a sick child is one of the most challenging experiences that any parent can face and can be both mentally and physically demanding. Beyond handling physical challenges and medical needs, parents have to deal with their child's emotional needs and the impact that a prolonged condition can have on the entire family.

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Parents can quickly become overwhelmed by all of the responsibilities they shoulder, which can have a significant impact on their mental wellbeing if not dealt with in time. It is therefore essential as a parent to look after yourself by seeking much-needed assistance so that you can take care of your child.

Recently, the Electrical Industries Charity (EIC) provided care and support to Amy Angell, a full-time mother of four children, whose mental health and wellbeing started to deteriorate due to the emotional stress she was experiencing while looking after her son Elliot who is suffering from a diplegic cerebral palsy.

Elliott Angell was born prematurely at 31 weeks in 2013 and suffered brain damage due to lack of oxygen. This resulted in diplegic cerebral palsy which affects both of his legs, causing severe stiffness and making him unable to sit or walk unaided. Recently Elliott was offered life-changing surgery - Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy (SDR) - which will allow him to walk and play football with his little sister and his friends, however, the operation and physiotherapy come at the huge cost of £75,000 and is not funded by the NHS.

Amy, together with her husband, set up the fundraising page - “Finding Elliott’s Feet” to raise much-needed funds which would give Elliott an opportunity to walk alongside his siblings. Over six years, Amy has organised various fundraising events, raised awareness locally of what Elliott is suffering from, as well as contacting local charities for support, including the EIC.

On top of managing Elliott’s fundraising page, Amy has numerous other general household tasks she needs to complete on daily basis, from completing housework, food shopping, arranging school transport for Elliott’s twin sister to addressing the bills and preparing family get-togethers. Additionally, Amy never misses any of Elliott’s hospital appointments and always plans travel and accommodation arrangements before each visit. She also occasionally has to coach and encourage Elliott emotionally and physically when he gets very tired and doesn’t always want to finish the physiotherapy - sometimes resulting in Amy needing to carry him to the car at the end of the session.

When EIC asked Amy what she does to relax Amy broke down and told the Charity that she feels so tired doing the same thing every day and that it is draining and upsetting seeing her son in so much pain when she cannot do anything to help him. She also told EIC that the family never go out anymore as every penny is needed and she doesn’t spend time as a couple with her husband as they need all the babysitting hours saved for hospital appointments.

Thanks to funding which is generated through powerLottery, EIC was able to provide finance for Elliott’s monthly physiotherapy sessions, travel costs and support Elliott at school by ensuring that the school had everything they needed to help Elliott with his daily routine.EIC has also provided Elliott with a new wheelchair to better suit his needs.

Additionally, EIC has found the hypnotherapy company that Amy used to use as a coping mechanism and arranged for her to have sessions straight away. The Charity helped Amy with managing the fundraising page and activities to allow her to spend more time focusing on her and her family’s wellbeing. So far Amy has completed three of her hypnotherapy sessions and has a CD which she can play at home in her spare time. Amy is already feeling back to her usual self and is looking after her family and her own wellbeing.

If you would like to help EIC to assist more families who are struggling to cope and need support, sign up to EIC’s powerLottery today for only £1 per month. All funds raised through powerLottery help to fund EIC’s Employee and Family Support Programme which is part of the Employee Assistance Programme and give people like the Angell family hope for the future. All you need to do to sign up is download the powerLottery app and tap to play.

For further information, please contact Jess Vailima:

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