A determined mum is fundraising for a hot tub to act as a hydrotherapy pool for her daughter with complex medical needs.
Charlotte Francis from Stone has a rare chromosome abnormality where she is missing part of the long arm of chromosome 4.
As a result of this, the 21-year-old is non-verbal and wheelchair dependent. She has cataracts, as well as spinal rods in her back, is PEG fed and also has a suprapubic catheter inserted.
Charlotte attends Newfriars College in Bucknall and prior to the Covid-19 pandemic she would swim in their pool weekly.
Mum Vanessa Beddow, 39, has spoken of how Charlotte is in ‘so much pain’ following a series of self-harming behaviours including pulling out her hair which is resulting in her nearly being bald on the left side of her head.
“We need to raise the money as quickly as possible,” said Vanessa. “Charlotte is in so much pain and it’s getting worse with every day.
“She is completely wheelchair dependent but we need to keep her moving as much as possible to make her personal care as easy as possible. She has two to one support so getting her as loose as she can be to reduce the tightness would really help. “
Vanessa is keen to raise £5,000 – of which she has already raised more than £1,000 – to buy a hot tub for Charlotte that she could use several times a week, to ease her joints and muscles and provide another sensory activity for her.
“She loves the spa bubbles and the sensation of the water on her skin,” explained Vanessa, “and in water you’re weightless, so it won’t be a great deal of effort for her.
“The hot tub’s we have seen are around the £4,500 mark. We don’t want anything amazing, we don’t need an all singing, all dancing type of thing. We just want something to use as a hydrotherapy pool that will fit Charlotte and two support workers in, and that will benefit Charlotte in a way that her college pool did.
“We don’t know how long Covid will be around for, and I don’t know if I’ll feel comfortable with Charlotte returning to the pool next year.
“We’ll also purchase a hoist to get her in and out and so we can gently move and ease her joints and muscles, as well as a cover so whatever the weather she can get out and be in the water. With it being heated, she will be able to use it all year round.”
She continued: “When I last saw Charlotte’s physio team, I told them all about it and they thought it was a great idea. Knowing that we have their backing on it makes me really happy and makes me even more determined to get this for Charlotte as soon as possible.
“I feel so passionately about this and I really want to achieve this for Charlotte. I’ve started the fundraiser, I’m doing raffles on Facebook and I’m even selling Body Shop products to try and make up commission to add to the pot.
“Everybody has had a tough year and we can’t fundraise as we usually would, so I just want to spread the word as much as possible.”