Theraposture fast-tracks essential paediatric cot to severely ill 4-year-old Gabriell and his Army family
Theraposture, the Wiltshire based assistive bed specialist, has recently managed to supply an essential specialist cot at short notice to the Lothian family in Oxfordshire, following the lack of emergency support from local county councils when they relocated from Essex.
Alan and Kira Lothian now from Abingdon, Oxfordshire are remarkable parents who have four boys aged between four and 15. Their youngest son Gabriell unfortunately lives with several medical conditions which include Cerebral Palsy, Epilepsy and Chronic Lung Disease. Gabriell is such a fantastic little boy, full of life, however he has to be fed during the night via a feeding line. Combined with his common nocturnal convulsions, it is absolutely essential that he sleeps in a specialist paediatric cot.
When Alan, a Lance Corporal in 3 Logistics Support Regiment with active experience in Iraq and Afghanistan, transferred barracks from Colchester to Abingdon, Gabriell’s cot had to be returned to the County Council at short notice. However persistently Alan and Kira attempted to have this essential assistive bed transferred to their new home or made available for purchase, the local authorities were not permitted to act positively. Gabriell’s parents even contacted their local Liberal Democrat MP Bob Russell but to no avail. This left the Lothian family in despair with their son’s welfare at risk, that is until Theraposture was recommended to them by their OT.
With only days to go before the Lothians were due to move to their new military home on Dalton Barracks, there seemed no solution for the specialist needs of their son. At this time Alan was luckily allowed leave by an understanding Commanding Officer, however Kira had just undergone knee surgery and was unable to walk. Coupled with the stress of moving house, looking after four boys and supporting Kira’s disabled Mother who lives with severe arthritis, the prospect of their youngest son’s welfare being compromised was too much to cope with.
Kira explained, “We were desperate to resolve this cot issue as without it, Gabriell would not be safe at night. Following our OT Lara Johnstone’s recommendation, we called Theraposture and right from the initial emotional conversation with Liam Braddell, my mind was put at rest. Liam
was so understanding and assured me that Theraposture would do all they could to install a suitable cot in our new home, especially as they admired Alan’s recent bravery whilst on tour in Afghanistan. We discussed an affordable way forward with funding whilst we continued our pleas with the local council and in a matter of a few days, Theraposture managed to fast track a full cot assessment, build and installation. With the help of Liam, I managed to completely order the cot from my bed as I recovered from surgery, which I think is absolutely fantastic. Theraposture freely admit they had to pull out all the stops to make this happen, however as soon as they knew the potential plight that the Lothian family faced, the whole company pulled together.”
Kira concluded, “The delivery team who managed the installation couldn’t have been more helpful. They clearly and thoroughly explained how to use the cot and checked that it met all of Gabriell’s needs. The courtesy calls from Liam since we’ve moved, along with the wavered delivery charge reinforced the fact that Theraposture really do care. This level of personalised support I unfortunately find rare these days.”
Since the move into their new home and the installation of the cot by Theraposture, the Lothian family’s lifestyle has settled down nicely. Gabriell has responded well to his Gastrostomy, his walking has greatly improved now without the use of a frame and the regular NHS care he receives in the area, especially at The John Radcliffe Hospital, has been first-rate. The establishment of a stable routine quickly has been imperative for Gabriel as he doesn’t respond well to change and also Alan will soon be posted to the Falkland Islands for seven months. Kira will then have to manage the household on her own as well as juggling her student commitments back in Essex as she trains to be an accredited Health and Social Care Worker.
Nevertheless with the support of the Army, NHS Oxford and Theraposture, the Lothian family can look forward to their new life in Abingdon. With the peace of mind that Gabriell’s welfare is intact, the family can enjoy watching him progress towards his fifth birthday.
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Kira (left) and Alan Lothian (right) with one of their four sons Gabriell