Hartlepool mum’s appeal for equipment for disabled daughter

Talia Foster
Talia Foster

A mum from Hartlepool is appealing to people’s generosity to raise funds for special sensory equipment to help calm her six-year-old disabled daughter.

Claire Foster, 41, says that a light sensory pack would improve daughterTalia’s wellbeing after years of medical treatment to ease her complex needs and help her when she get over anxious.

Talia, who attends Springwell Primary School needs the equipment, including a bubble tube, bubble fish tube, acrylic mirrors and fibre optic sideglow, to help her relax, ut the £1,128 cost is outside the family’s budget.

Talia wasn’t breathing when she was born, and it took doctors 10 minutes to resuscitate her, as a result of the damage caused, she is non-verbal and requires 24-hour supervision.

Claire said her daughter’s life has been extremely challenging.

“Talia had her first seizure when she was just four days old,” she said. “After that she could have hundreds in one day. These infantile spasms had a jack-knife effect on Talia, and left her bent in half.

“They could last for a couple of minutes and they would run into each other. It was so distressing to see but there was nothing that her dad, Brendan, or I could do. Luckily, Talia has not had the spasms since she was two-and-a-half, but she’s had so much more to contend with.”

Talia had her first lumbar puncture when she was two months old, has had many periods in hospital with pneumonia, and has even had swine flu.

Despite everything, Claire says that Talia, is a happy little girl.

“She’s constantly giggling and she loves to replicate the sounds of words that she hears us using,” she said. “She’s a little fighter and is as strong as an ox.

“Technically, she has Syndrome Without A Name (SWAN) but she also has epilepsy, global development delay and is visually impaired. Although she remains happy, and smiles and laughs a lot, she can have uncontrollable meltdowns.

“But we’ve noticed that when this happens at school she calms down more quickly in their sensory room.”

Now with the help of charity Caudwell Children, which provides support to disabled children and their families, Claire and Brendan are looking to raise the money needed to secure the light sensory pack, which would allow Talia to play safely, reducing her levels of anxiety.

“Caudwell Children have been brilliant,” Claire added. “They’ve shown us how to set up a Just Giving page and they’ve directed us to grant giving trust’s, other charities, rotary clubs and masons lodges.

“But I also want to appeal to the public and the business community and ask them to give us a helping hand. With their support we can make life so much better for Talia and make her long days that much more bearable.”

Claire says that the equipment would also enable Talia’s 11-year-old sister Gabrielle, to play with her more often.

Trudi Beswick, Chief Executive of Caudwell Children, said: “This equipment will not only benefit Talia, it will have a positive impact on the whole family. Unbelievably, there are an estimated 70,000 children in the UK who would benefit from the correct equipment.

“Talia’s case highlights the kind of support that is needed for children with sensory issues. I would urge members of the public to support the family through their Just Giving page so that they can get the equipment that they need and deserve!”

To donate, visit /www.justgiving.com/appeal4talia/ or make a text donation by texting TALI49 £3 to 70070.