Trips to Chester Zoo have become a lot more fun for a disabled teenager thanks to the Steve Morgan Foundation.
16-year-old Lewis Murphy lives in Prenton, Birkenhead with his aunt and uncle Donna and Robert Kelly and attends Foxfield School.
As well as having Down’s syndrome, Lewis has a range of conditions including a curvature of the spine, learning difficulties and a sleep problem.
His 70-year-old uncle Robert has arthritis while his aunt Donna has problems with her hips which restricts her mobility. This made pushing his manual wheelchair increasingly difficult, especially as he got bigger and heavier.
Donna said, “The original wheelchair was too heavy and we struggled to push him. Lewis can only walk unaided for a short time so is reliant on the wheelchair.
“That was preventing him getting out and he was becoming quite isolated. He used to ask us to take him out and about but we just couldn’t push the wheelchair very far.”
He was assessed for a power-assisted wheelchair, manufactured by a company called Karma, but his family couldn’t afford the near £2,000 price tag.
Robert said, “He couldn’t go to Blackpool for a walk down the front because it was too far. He couldn’t just go out in the street to play and we couldn’t pay the £2,000.”
The Steve Morgan Foundation stepped in to contribute £1,635 towards the cost of a new lightweight wheelchair, which has transformed his life.
“Lewis is a lot happier and it’s made a huge difference,” said Donna. “He uses the powerpack when going up a hill. It has given him a new lease of life and has allowed him to do more.”
It has also enabled him to enjoy his favourite trips to Chester Zoo a lot more.
Lewis said, “I really like the wheelchair. It’s easier for my back. The old wheelchair used to hurt my back. I like the rhinos at Chester Zoo especially.”
The Steve Morgan Foundation’s Enable Fund supports people of all ages in financial hardship, who are in need of specialised equipment, including mobility aids, wheelchairs, buggies, wheelchairs and trikes.