Six-year-old’s wheelchair fundraiser

Sasha Hearne and brother Ciaran SUS-140423-110847001
Sasha Hearne and brother Ciaran SUS-140423-110847001

A little girl who cannot walk could soon be able to enjoy days out with her family if a fundraising appeal goes to plan.

Six-year-old Sasha Hearne is visually impaired and unable to walk after problems getting enough oxygen when she was born. The youngster, from Freshford Close, loves nothing more than spending time outdoors with her family – with trips to theme parks and the beach particularly popular.

However, The Southdowns Community School pupil, who also has epilepsy, is restricted to a wheelchair which is very heavy – meaning parents Tandy and Laurence often have to cut day trips short because they get tired pushing their daughter around.

The situation is particularly difficult for Mr Hearne, who has grade four arthritis in his knees, and for Sasha’s siblings who want to stay out and enjoy the fun.

A powered wheelchair base would transform Sasha’s current manual chair giving the family the freedom to go out for the entire day. But statutory services will not fund the £8,256 piece of equipment. The cost prompted the family to turn to leading UK children’s disability charity Newlife Foundation for help. Newlife has funded 52 equipment grants for children in East Sussex, totalling £101,197.

Mrs Hearne explained, “The powered wheelchair base would make a huge difference to both Sasha and our family. Sasha loves going down to the seafront and watching people and everything else that is going on. A powered wheelchair would take the strain out of the situation and we’d be able to go on days out and not have to cut them short.

“I’ve got a bad back and can no longer push the wheelchair all day, while my husband has got arthritis in his knees. In the past we have had to cut trips short and it would be wonderful for Sasha and her brother and sister to be able to enjoy a full day.”

To raise money, or make a donation, should call freephone 0800 988 4640.