Hannah is an active member of her Ambassador Club and is proud to represent the West Midlands on the Kidz Board. Hannah was shy and lonely but Whizz-Kidz showed her that she is not alone. Now Hannah dreams of working with disabled young people and working at our Ambassador Clubs.
‘I was one when I became unwell and was diagnosed at Birmingham children's hospital with Tuberculosis Meningitis; I suffered a stroke as a result of it and was in a coma for a month.
‘As a result of my illness I have severe weakness and hemiplegia down my right hand side, I have limited mobility. However, I can walk short distances with the aid of my stick. When I was 5 I was given a manual wheelchair by Dudley Wheelchair Services.
‘As I cannot use my left hand, the manual wheelchair meant I was reliant on being pushed around as I couldn’t self-propel. I began to feel left out as I couldn’t go and play with my friends, not properly. I was desperate to join in with the other kids without an adult around.
‘My family could see how isolated I felt but Dudley Wheelchair Services will not issue a power chair to anyone who is able to do any amount of walking. That’s where Whizz-Kidz came into my life. My first powered wheelchair changed everything. All the simple things I dreamed of doing became realities. In the morning I would go off to school, steering myself, while my mum walked by my side, just like other local children.
‘I became so much happier at school as I became more Independent and I could go where I wanted when I wanted, without relying on others. The powered wheelchair even helped me transition into college and enabled me to have the type of social life all teenage girls have. I go shopping with my friends and use the local bus service; all of this would not have been possible without Whizz-Kidz.
‘I am proud to be an active member of my local Ambassador Club and I represent the West Midlands on the Kidz Board. My favourite thing about Whizz-Kidz is actually being with the other kids and working together on issues relevant to us. In the future I would like to work with young people who have disabilities and I plan to get involved in helping with the ambassador clubs when I am old enough. I would like to be a mentor for some of the younger kids’.
Mandy, Hannah’s mum says:
‘All of the experiences Whizz-Kidz offered Hannah have not only contributed greatly to her confidence but have given her a sense of belonging. She feels that she has options open to her to choose what she wants to do with her life, that she is not limited or restricted just because she has a disability.
‘Without the wheelchairs from Whizz-Kids Hannah couldn't do the things she can today. By denying Hannah a powered wheelchair, Dudley Wheelchair Service denied Hannah her right to an independent life. Whizz-Kidz gave Hannah her freedom.
‘Being part of Whizz-Kidz is good for parents too. Meeting other parents is really helpful and informative. It makes you feel less alone in your struggles to get what is right for your child, it makes you feel you are part of a wider family with your child's interests at heart’.
You can read Mandy's story here.