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Theo Juniper was born early at 25 weeks weighing a tiny 1lb 14oz. He had a very tough start in life, spending his first four months in hospital and coming home still dependent on oxygen and 13 different medications. As a result of his extreme prematurity, Theo has had bleeds on his brain, suffers from chronic lung disease and is deaf.

Recently one-year-old Theo was admitted to North Manchester General Hospital with breathing difficulties due to a winter virus. He was put on oxygen again for a week while he recovered. A Sensory Voyager funded by MedEquip4Kids was brought to his bedside: a portable sensory studio featuring a waterless bubble tube, UV fibre optic strands and a projector wheel to create spellbinding and colourful lighting effects.

Theo’s mum Lisa says: “We were so lucky to have use of the Sensory Voyager, which Theo loved. He was confined to his room and this amazing resource kept him very entertained. It was hard for us as a family to be back in hospital and the fact that Theo coped so well really helped us to get through it. Thank you so much to Medequip4Kids and everyone who so kindly contributes to help make difficult hospital stays much easier for our children. We are very grateful!”

We’re raising funds to provide another Sensory Voyager for the neo natal unit at North Manchester General. Babies often stay for up to six months in the unit and will benefit from a stimulating and calming sensory environment, reducing stress for them and their families.

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“The switch adapted toys have been a wonderful addition to our school. Both staff and children were thrilled to have some new exciting resources. The children love the lights and movement many of these switch toys have and are highly motivated to explore and investigate how to make them work. They have been great for pupils to develop their understanding of cause and effect and we have also noticed improved concentration and engagement when using them. Often it can be difficult to find toys that are robust enough to withstand lots of heavy use AND be interesting and fun. These new resources tick all those boxes. They have made a noticeable impact on the children’s development in this area.”

Sophie Martindale
Acorns Primary School, Lancashire

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