Heidi's wheelchair conversion

Hello, my name is Jodie Ogilvie, and I am the niece of the beautiful mother in the picture with her 3 beautiful girls.

I am going to tell you this woman’s story, not only in the hope that you are willing to assist, but also in the hope that you become inspired with the strength and courage of this wonderful family.

Almost 16 years ago, Sonya fell pregnant with her eldest daughter, after being told she would not ever be able to have children, this was an amazing surprise which brought much joy to the family. Sonya’s eldest daughter is an amazing young lady who has a great talent in painting, drawing and all arty crafty areas. Due to circumstances, Sonya raised her eldest daughter on her own.

10 years ago Sonya met her late partner, and to everyone’s surprise, fell pregnant to her middle child, who is now 7 years of age. Sonya’s middle child is wonderful, and is a grade A student at school (goody too shoes). Sonya raised her middle child alongside her late partner.

5 years ago, Sonya once again fell pregnant to her youngest daughter Heidi, yet another surprise, again this brought much joy to all family and friends, however especially to Sonya and her late partner. Heidi was born on the 14th of April 2011, Heidi was born at 32 weeks, she was 8 weeks premature, weighing in at 1.8kgs, this meant many months and sleepless nights in Canberra children’s hospital, away from their home, and away from her other children, it was though that Heidi would not survive. However even though Heidi was born with cerebral palsy, Kyphoscoliosis. Profound hearing loss. Vision impairment. Larinygomalacia. Food adversion with PEG feeding, she is a fighter, and 5 years later she fills the room with smiles and giggles that just melt you heart. Although Heidi is nonverbal and non-mobile, she still knows how to win an argument.

Throughout the last 5 years, there has been thousands of appointments, hospital visits, long days and nights, long weeks and months, and continuous improvements with Heidi’s growth. in November 2012  Heidi received her first cochlear and her second in May 2013!  Heidi was the superstar from the Shepherd Centres fundraising Christmas appeal in 2014. Heidi received glasses, to improve her vision, and undertook training with different technologies to improve her movement skills in her eyes and her body. This year was very exciting (and stressful) with Heidi starting kindergarten at the Anson Street School in town, and even more exciting with Heidi receiving her wheel chair! This has improved Heidi’s way of living dramatically, and also Sonya’s. Heidi although still small for her age, is growing every day, making it harder for a single mother to lift and secure her into her vehicle every time she needs to leave the home.

January of 2015, Sonya’s partner unexpectedly passed away, this was a surprise and a shock to this wonderful family, and to all family and friends surrounding them. This was a very difficult time for all involved, and as you can imagine there where good days and there where bad. The amazing thing is, that Sonya did what she had to do to ensure her girls could get through this, Sonya put her own thoughts and feelings aside, and did everything in her power to help her 15 year old, 7 year old and 5 year old daughters through the grieving process, without a single thought of herself. This was truly humbling and I just thought the world of her.

This brings us to now, Sonya is much too proud to ask for any assistance, however as you could imagine, the weight of the financial obligations, and the strength needed to lift Heidi is becoming quite a strain.

I would like to raise as much funding as possible to put in to assisting Sonya in the conversion of her car into a wheelchair accessible vehicle. Although there is government funding which can be applied for, we have hit some road blocks, the funding has rolled out, however it is not known when it becomes available in the central west for Sonya, not only that but the car being converted cannot be any older than 5 years old, Sonya’s car will be 5 years old next year , meaning she is not eligible. To have to purchase a brand new car and also complete the conversion, the costs associated with this are just impossible.

I would like you to know that any donation you make, will mean the world to my aunty and her truly adorable family, it will also mean the world to me as I wish that there was more I could to do help. Not only will you make life more suitable and comfortable for Heidi, but you will also make it easier for the whole family.

This is truly a wonderful cause, and I know that when you see the converted vehicle driving around with 4 beautiful smiles inside, you will know that you have contributed to an amazing cause.


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Jodie Leigh Ogilvie 
Ophir NSW
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