In December 2011 Sophie was suddenly taken ill. A blood clot had developed on her spinal cord leaving her paralyzed. She was diagnosed with Cobb Syndrome. Her world was turned upside down, just at the time she should have been enjoying a carefree life and her youth. She went from being a healthy, sporty girl to being a permanent wheelchair user. Sophie spent time in the London Spinal Cord Injury Centre learning to come to terms with her disability and mastering advanced wheelchair skills. She was provided with an Action 3 manual wheelchair that gave her independence in the home. However, Sophie was reliant on friends or family for outdoor mobility especially safely accessing the steep hill leading to her home.
After Sophie trialed a Quickie Salsa Power wheelchair and demonstrated her ability to manage it safely and independently, Sophie’s Occupational Therapist supported her application to the Wheelchair Programme of Variety, the Children’s Charity. Her application was successful and she received her new wheelchair just before Christmas 2012. It has increased her independence and she is now able to attend college, go shopping and enjoy her favorite activity; walking her pet dog. The sporty girl hasn’t had to give up everything. She’s learnt to swim with her legs. Like any other teen, Sophie loves meeting up with her friends. And she does it all with a smile! It’s hard to believe that in the space of a weekend, her life was turned upside down. But she’s never let it stop her living life to the full. She’s such an inspiration.
“…her ‘youth’ was being stolen from her. However, a year on, I can now see that Sophie can still do the majority of things her friends do, and through the generosity of those that have donated to your Charity, her powerchair will give her the opportunity to do and enjoy so much more that life has to offer. Having a disabled child gives you a whole new perspective on life, and has made me see disability in a totally new light, and how important your work is and what it means to the families and their lives that you help.” – Sophie’s Mother
Sophie is now a Young Ambassador for Variety and made her first appearance for us at Variety of Great Britain’s “the PROPS” Lunch on 14th May 2013. A short film about Sophie and her life was screened. Valuable supporters from “the PROPS” were able to meet her and get to see what a difference their donations can make to a young life.
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