Learning your child has a disability can be a huge shock and Northcott wants to be there from day one.
When Cruz was 18-months-old, his mother Jo noticed that his motor skills seemed to be regressing. Things like crawling and pulling himself up the stairs became that little bit harder for him and Jo had a feeling that something wasn’t quite right.
At 20-months-old, Cruz was diagnosed with spinal muscular atrophy type 2 (SMA2), a recessive genetic neuromuscular disorder. Babies with SMA2 can sit without support, but they’re unable to stand or walk independently.
Cruz’s family has accessed Northcott’s services since he was first diagnosed.
“I remember the first day we went to Northcott they had a little tiny wheelchair for him to borrow, and that was the first time he ever got into a wheelchair. Just the look on his face, the smile on his face, he just took off in his wheelchair. He’s like ‘oh my gosh, I’m mobile’ and he just went. He was just so happy and it was just amazing that they were giving us that opportunity to borrow this wheelchair before we got our other wheelchair. I think that sort of changed him.” – Jo
Over the past three years, Northcott has supported Cruz and his family through our services.
Before Cruz started school this year, Northcott coordinated equipment and ensured his school grounds’ accessibility. Suitable pencils and scissors were arranged, two hoists were organised to assist Cruz in the classroom and in the bathroom, and because he was unable to access trays in the classroom, Northcott organised for his books to be kept on the back of his chair.
There are many more children like Cruz and families like his that need our support.
We need your support to provide that peace of mind to children like Cruz and their families over the festive season, into the new school year and beyond.