Designability is a small charity based in Bath that designs products for people with disabilities to help improve their quality of life. One of their designs is the Wizzybug – a fun powered wheelchair for the under fives. They loan them free of charge across the UK to families with very young disabled children to provide independence in their crucial early years.
The story of Daisy and her Wizzybug, shared by Daisy’s mum and dad:
Daisy was diagnosed with Spinal Muscular Atrophy Type 2 when she was 16 months old, and for quite a while our life felt it had been ripped apart. Quite simply SMA2, as it is known, is a relatively rare genetic condition which affects the growth and strength of the muscles. For Daisy it means that her muscles will waste away, and she is very susceptible to chest infections due to the lack of strength in her lungs and an inability to cough.
We were really lucky to be accepted on to the loan scheme for a Wizzybug for Daisy and she received it the day before her second birthday, what a present! She is extremely bright and within a week she was demonstrating her driving skills to everyone she could get to watch her.
It has opened up her world as she is now able to be mobile at home, in nursery and anywhere that we go, it gives her the legs that other children take for granted. It is so versatile, we have a very active outdoor lifestyle and Wizzy has enabled us to continue with some normal life as a family and to enjoy these activities together, and moreover bring some normality to all of our lives.
It has enabled Daisy to take part and enjoy simple tasks in life that many of us take for granted from going for a walk and having the freedom just to touch trees and plants to racing around on the village green with her peers. People are amazed when they see us and even more amazed how good Daisy’s driving skills are at such a young age, much better than most adults!
Daisy, now approaching her third birthday, fully realises that she will never stand, walk or run like the children in her playgroup, but it does not stop her trying to race around as her friends do, in her own special way. She is the star of the show wherever we go and we can’t thank Designability and the sponsors enough for giving Daisy the opportunity to be mobile and independent at such an early age when everything seemed to be stacked against her. We hope that more and more children with mobility difficulties are able to experience what Daisy has and see the happiness that Wizzy brings to a child’s life.
DM Thomas Foundation awarded Designability £17,000 in 2013 to help fund the Wizzybug loan scheme.