William's hydrotherapy pool wish

❣️❣️WILLIAM’S STORY❣️❣️

William is a 10 year old boy with complex needs.
He was born 3 months early and faced battles from the start to survive. He was only 1lb 8 oz and he was very bruised from birth, he had jaundice, his little lungs were not ready for the world and he had an open duct in his heart.
He came home still a month premature but weighing an amazing 6lbs! in two months he had grown so much! Sadly, three days after coming home, he stopped breathing and needed his mummy to resuscitate him. After a scary day he was intubated and traveled to Sheffield Children's hospital for life support. It was there he was found to have H1N1 (Swine Flu).

After a fight that involved the highest level of care the PICU could offer, he started to show signs of getting better. His left lung had been punctured due to the strain it was under so a cat scan was done to check how it was healing. It was during this scan that severe and extensive brain damage was found.

After much soul searching and some dark, dark days, the decision was made to remove the ventilator from William and let nature take it's course. William however had another plan, he was not ready to say goodbye, he was hungry after almost three weeks on a ventilator! within 24 hours he was drinking a bottle of milk.

The damage to his brain has left him with a long list of diagnosis including quadriplegic cerebral palsy, Lennox gestalt syndrome, which is a form of drug resistant epilepsy, cortical visual impairment, microcephaly, severe global developmental delay, unsafe swallow and chronic lung disease. William's world is experienced in a very different way to how you or I experience it. His world is filled with sound, music, movement, lights, cuddles, kisses and laughter.

William took a turn for the worse in 2017 and he had had 12 hospital admissions in 12 months including another protracted stay in Sheffield Children's Hospital in their PICU. Yet again he has amazed the Doctors by bouncing back seemingly to full health against all expectations.

Due to this experience, I am keen to make his life filled with as many great memories as possible.
One way I can do this is to build him a Hydrotherapy room at his home with hoisting facilities, lights and sounds so he can be immersed in an intense sensory experience on a regular basis. William continues to have a lot of hospital stays so they opportunity to relax when he is a home is vital. We have now gained planning permission and paid for the pool so we are fundraising to pay for the extension to house the pool. We have extended the plans to include a lobby and disabled access toilet so we can make the facility available to other disabled adults and children in the local area when William isn't using it. As it has been mostly funded by the community, we want to share it with the community.

Update since corona virus.... I decided as we were unlikely to be able to continue our fundraising efforts this year that we should try to get the pool room alone built without the lobby and storage room for William. It cut our costs a little and we broke ground in May 2020. The build is now completed and William has been using the pool since October 2020. It was a valuable focus for us while following full shielding procedures with william as he is considered extremely vulnerable. Since the second Lockdown it has provided William with an amazing space to serve as a learning area as he has been unable to access school. He has regular hydrotherapy, physiotherapy, musictherapy, messy play and art lessons there as well as giving him a place put of the house to relax.

We will be continuing to fundraise as and when possible as the build went substantially over the money raised from fundraising and our personal savings. Our hope to grant William's wish for a hydrotherapy pool has been fulfilled and we as a family are hugely grateful to the wonderful community around us that made it happen. Thank you.

Written by Williams mum, Joanna ❣️
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Organizer

Joanna Chambers 
Organizer
Sinnington, Yorkshire and the Humber, United Kingdom
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