Specialist Equipment for Jack Smith

A little about Jack for those who don’t know him:

Jack is 9 years old and was born with severe brain damage. We don’t have any answers to why but he suffered from a lack of oxygen just before birth. Until then we thought we were having a healthy baby boy. He was a very poorly baby and we didn’t think he’d make it as we had been told to prepare for the worst. He fought hard to stay with his mammy and daddy though. 

Jack has a lot of health conditions including cerebral palsy, epilepsy, severe hearing impairment, registered blind and he has profound and multiple learning difficulties. Jack can’t speak and he is fed through a tube in his stomach. He requires oxygen every time he falls asleep as without it his oxygen and heart rate dip dangerously low. Someone has to sleep in with Jack every night to ensure he is safe. 

As a result of his cerebral palsy and being unable to stand, Jacks right hip has come out of its socket and his left hip is also showing signs of displacement. He is on the waiting list for urgent surgery on his hip which is a massive operation and also holds risks. 

Jack can’t sit or stand unaided so he needs 24 hour posture care with the use of specialist equipment. He’s over 37kg and can’t be lifted or carried safely anymore so needs hoisted in and out of his chairs etc. 

Jack’s dad had to give up working to be his full-time carer so the family are reliant on mum’s wage. The NHS and local Authority provide the basics but children like Jack and families like ours find that to have a better quality of life he needs additional equipment and support. 

Jack loves water. He loves his bath as he is free to move independently and kick his legs. A bath is also great for relaxing his muscles which are often tight due to his cerebral palsy. 

Due to how much he has grown he now needs a specialist bath that is very big but also raises so that we can wash him without bending. Our backs are already showing signs of damage from all the lifting and bending. 

He would also greatly benefit from a mobile, folding hoist so that Jack can access a special garden swing and lazyspa we bought him. It will also mean we can take him away from home for short breaks and to visit family. Currently we can only stay out of the house for a couple of hours as we have to get home to change Jack which involves using a hoist. 

We are currently still paying back money we had to borrow to complete Jack’s home adaptions a few years ago. We managed to raise so much with the help of friends and family towards the adaptions but fell a little short. We are so grateful to everyone who helped us back then and to those who are offering support again

Thank you for reading,

Mam and dad of the most amazing little boy


  • Various donors 
    • £150 (Offline)
    • 9 mos
  • Maxine Shepherd  
    • £20 
    • 10 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • £20 
    • 10 mos


Mark Smith 
South Shields, North East England, United Kingdom
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