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Family raise money to make home accessible for their son

Jack Mckenna with his mum laura
Jack Mckenna with his mum laura Image credit:

A family with a disabled son have launched a fundraising appeal so they can make their Glasgow home accessible for the little boy’s needs.

Jack McKenna suffered a brain bleed at birth which left him with cerebral palsy and epilepsy, the five-year-old lad has already undergone two surgeries, fed through a tube, takes medicine every day and relies on a wheelchair to move around.

His parents Laura and Ross were told North Lanarkshire Council could only afford to make their home 80 per cent accessible for Jack.

Laura, from Newharthill, told Glasgow Live: "As a result of the damage caused to Jack's brain, he will always be fully dependant on his family looking after all aspects of his care, including tube feeding through his gastrostomy, moving around and repositioning, and all aspects of personal care.

"Jack relies on a wheelchair, which is pushed by us, to get around and specialist equipment including special seating and a standing frame for postural support.

"Jack is so smiley, and he loves listening to stories and what's going on, but he doesn’t have purposeful movements.

"He can’t sit halfway up to lift himself, doesn’t crawl or walk.

"That’s how it's going to be for Jack, it won’t get any better. We are trying to prepare for the future.

"We want him to stay in the house now with the support situation around us, it's too much to lose if we have to move house."

If the family can raise the remaining cash they will be able to install a wet room, widen doors and have a downstairs bedroom for Jack.

Laura and Ross still need an extra £60,000 so their home can be fully accessible, they aim to raise £20,000 themselves and are keeping their fingers crossed family members will contribute to the fundraiser so they can reach its £25,000 target.

Laura said: "Myself and Ross work in hospitality, and we've been furloughed throughout the pandemic - despite the fact I had to reduce my hours because someone always needs to be in the house with Jack. Because we work full-time and Jack is young, it has ruled us out of a lot of council funding.

"I feel terrible asking for donations, but we don't really feel we have any other options. Every year we fundraise, but this is the first year we've had to ask for the money ourselves.

"One of Jack's most favourite things is water.

"Jack absolutely loves any type of water, especially being in a bath. He requires full support and either lays flat, with little water, or uses specialist seating in the bath.

"As well as Jack getting bigger, he is getting heavier and more difficult for us to lift from awkward positions, like in the bath.

"My parents are nearing their sixties and I dread to think what would happen if there was an accident carrying him on the stairs or out the bath.

"With our plans for the downstairs bedroom and wet room, Jack would be transported from the wet room to his bedroom via a tracking hoist.

"The quicker we start hoisting Jack the better as having to carry him from the bathroom to the living room, or up and down stairs is becoming difficult for those who care for Jack.

"It will also be better for Jack as he won't get a fright or be startled when we lift him up from a low level, like the bath."

She added: "We've been overwhelmed by the success of the fundraiser already, and we're hoping that it continues and we can hopefully start getting some modifications made soon - we just can't do it ourselves."

You can make a donation to Laura and Ross’s fundraiser by clicking here.