Fundraising to help little Henry

HELP our Henry.A major fundraising bandwagon is under way today to help a little boy who is unlikely to live beyond his teenage years.Henry Chaplin's parents are trying to raise £20,000 to provide the plucky two-year-old with the specially adapted facilities he needs to make his life easier.

HELP our Henry.

A major fundraising bandwagon is under way today to help a little boy who is unlikely to live beyond his teenage years.

Henry Chaplin's parents are trying to raise £20,000 to provide the plucky two-year-old with the specially adapted facilities he needs to make his life easier.

Henry's short life has already been packed full of struggles and challenges. He suffers with cerebral palsy, West's syndrome (an infantile form of epilepsy), visual impairment, epilepsy and severe developmental delay and requires non-stop care and attention.

Doctors have told his parents Michelle and David, of Straight Road, Battisford, that he probably will not live long enough to be an adult. It is something which has made them even more determined to drive up the quality of his life while he is still with them.

But as Henry gets older and bigger, it is no longer a simple task to carry him up and down stairs to and from his bedroom as they once could.

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Instead, the family is hoping to secure the cash to build Henry an adapted downstairs bedroom and bathroom.

Michelle, 32, said: “Henry can't sit up, roll over or hold his own head up. He has to have everything done for him, he needs care 24 hours a day.

“He is so heavy now and his fits are poorly controlled. When he fits, it's quite scary - it's only a matter of time before we end up falling down the stairs trying to carry him to bed.

“He needs a large bedroom because he has so much equipment. He also needs a shower that's big enough for a stretcher and an adapted bath.

“The total cost will be about £45,000. We are hopeful that we will get £25,000 as a disabled facilities grant, but that leaves a £20,000 shortfall.”

Henry hit the headlines last year when he received a specially adapted buggy from The Evening Star's Press Ball charity event, which returns this year to provide more families like the Chaplins with help and equipment.

The family, which also includes Henry's one-year-old sister Grace, is already planning fundraising events including a summer fete at their home, featuring an auction.

Michelle, a nurse at Hadleigh Health Care Centre, said: “We would love to hear from businesses who could contribute something for the auction. We would also like to speak to anyone who has skills they would be prepared to offer up - perhaps a plumber, electrician or bricklayer.

“The older Henry gets, the harder it will be, so we are hoping to start as soon as we can.”

If you think you could help Henry, contact Michelle on 07746 999230 or e-mail her at chaplintomsk@aol.com

If you have been in a similar situation to Henry's parents write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or send us an e-mail to eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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