Meningitis Now has funded the trampoline and horse riding lessons for seven-year-old Liam, who contracted streptococcal bacterial meningitis (GBS) in 2008 at just four days old.
His mother, Charlotte Lancaster, recalls the moment he was diagnosed with the disease.
“He had a major fit and his skin turned purple. We rushed him to hospital and he underwent a lumbar puncture. He was treated with intravenous antibiotics and medicine and it was later confirmed he had contracted GBS.”
Liam remained in hospital for two and a half weeks before his parents were delivered the devastating news that Liam had incurred significant brain damage to the front and middle of his brain.
Liam contracted meningitis again at four months old.
Charlotte continued: “Liam has suffered many after-effects from contracting meningitis. He has social communication problems, learning difficulties, core stability problems, and a sleeping disorder. He struggles with knowing what is and isn’t socially acceptable."
“He receives one-to-one support at school, occupational therapy both at home and in school, physiotherapy and sees a psychologist. He also takes Ritalin for his hyperactivity.”
Meningitis Now has funded the award to provide Liam with both physical and psychological benefits.
“Having the riding lessons and trampoline means that Liam has an outlet for his stress and excess energy. It gives him a fun way to help control his emotions and learn to interact with other people and animals” said Charlotte.
Horse riding has a number of proven benefits including improvement in self-confidence and wellbeing; better emotional control; self- discipline; coordination; strength and muscle tone.
Meningitis Now awards more than £250,000 every year to those affected by meningitis. Grants help to reduce the financial pressures faced following the disease. Funding helps families with a variety of needs, such as specialist equipment, therapy, travel and accommodation for hospital visits, training, funeral and headstone expenses, and rehabilitation.