Family life was very difficult for the Dias-Bandaranayke’s until Variety – the Children’s Charity NSW granted $10,000 towards a much-needed vehicle modification so that their eight-year-old daughter, Leyan could be transported safely in her wheelchair.
When Leyan was four years old she suffered a horrific brain injury, caused by autoimmune encephalitis, which saw her hospitalised for six months with uncontrollable seizures, and she lost the ability to walk and to talk. She is now very medically fragile with chronic seizures, chronic lung disease, poor immunity, severe physical disability, no verbal communication and severe cognitive deficits, and needs a suction machine to prevent aspiration and as such, is entirely dependent on her family for all of her daily needs.
In addition to attending school, Leyan needs to attend frequent medical appointments, so safe transportation is of upmost importance. The family was able to purchase a van, but could not raise enough money for the expensive vehicle modifications to accommodate Leyan, hence their application to Variety for help.
Nandani explains that the vehicle modification is more than just for convenience but enhances the quality of Leyan’s life. “We are conscious that Leyan’s life won’t be a long one, and we are determined that our family makes the absolute most of every moment we have together. Since having the modifications done to our van, we have travelled to Wollongong and also to Newcastle to feed the dolphins, which the children loved, and we’re planning on driving to Canberra in the next school holidays to spend precious time together.”
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