SIX-year-old Charlotte Nott has a new-found independence after a £40,000 refurbishment to her home means she can get about without help from her mum.
The Horspath CofE Primary School pupil had the lower parts of her arms and legs amputated in 2010 after contracting meningitis.
This means she struggles to get about and cannot use a traditional bathroom without help.
But now , thanks to the work on her Cowley home – where she lives with mum Jenny Daniels, and younger siblings George, four, and Libby, two – things have changed.
Weeks of building work means there are now wheelchair ramps on both entrances to the house, a specially designed wet room that includes a £3,500 toilet, redesigned stairs and a new layout on the ground floor.
Miss Daniels, 32, said: “It’s still a bit of a work in progress, there are finishing touches left to do like carpets and flooring.
“It makes the house more accessible for Charlotte. It will definitely help her for the future.
“When the carpets are down it will be nicer for her when she’s walking without her prosthetic legs.”
She said everything is designed to make life easier for Charlotte: “It’s for her independence.
“Before we had the ramps I couldn’t get her wheelchair – which she uses a lot – into the house properly because I had to hump it over a step.
“Now she can come in and out without me.”
But the biggest difference is the bathroom: “Now she can get up in the morning and go to the toilet on her own rather than having to wait for me to get up and be there for her.
“She’s getting older – she’ll be seven next year – and she wants to be able to go on her own. It gives her confidence and dignity.
“She’s quite grown-up and independent so she’s been wanting to go to the bathroom on her own for a while.”
The work had to be funded by three different groups: £30,000 from Oxfordshire County Council’s disabled facilities grant, £7,000 from charity Meningitis Now and £2,000 from charity AX Foundation.
Despite this, the extensive building work cost £5,000 more than expected, so the family used money raised by Charlotte’s Appeal.
Since Charlotte became ill the appeal has raised money for her trust fund, which pays for equipment and aid – such as prosthetic legs – that the youngster needs.
Miss Daniels said: “Thankfully, because we’ve been fundraising we could make up the shortfall of £5,000. If we didn’t have that it wouldn’t have happened.”
A charity skydive to raise money for Charlotte’s Appeal finally went ahead last Tuesday after it was cancelled due to bad weather on August Bank Holiday Monday.
Keely Sinnott, from Horspath, jumped with her partner Mark Phillips, Mark Pearson from Cowley and Naomi Lanford from Yorkshire.
Ms Sinnott’s employer, DW Contractors, agreed to donate £500 in sponsorship.
- For more information on Charlotte’s Appeal visit charlottesappeal.com
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