Little Quadriplegic Boy Finally Gets To Enjoy The Ocean With His New Beach Wheelchair

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Most people love the beach. They get to frolic around and have fun in the sun while digging their toes in the warm sand. There’s something about the ocean breeze that’s just soothing and healing. Who wouldn’t want to spend the day enjoying what nature has to offer?

Some people don’t have that luxury. Those who suffer from a disability can’t just run around and enjoy the waves as it crashes to the shore. Being in a wheelchair limits their movements. But now, they may also spend time in the beach, thanks to this wonderful new invention.

One such lucky recipient is a little boy who has quadriplegic cerebral palsy. His activities had been extremely limited, but he finally got to play in the ocean because of this new beach wheelchair. Watching him for the first time was a touching experience for his mom, who was brought to tears when she saw the big smile on his face.

As mentioned, Joey has quadriplegic cerebral palsy. This means that movements on both of his arms and legs are affected and limited. At times, his torso and face don’t have a full range of movement as well. Joey is just two years old and he has very bad sensory issues. In fact, he doesn’t like the sensation of grass, sand, carpet, and snow on his skin. This meant that his mom wasn’t able to bring him to a lot of places.

Before the wheelchair, going to the beach was next to impossible. The family was fortunate enough to be recipient of a charity that offered big-wheeled wheelchairs on Ingoldmells beach in Lincolnshire. When they tried this on Joey, the entire family was able to enjoy the sea for the first time. This hadn’t happened to them in years.

In fact, Helen Butterfield filmed her little boy squealing and laughing as he excitedly experienced the sea water crashing over him and his dad for the very first time in his life. As for the mom, she has three kids and she lives in Sheffield. She’s Joey’s full time care-giver since he had been born, and as she watched how he reacted to this new experience, she said that this was one of the most special moments of her life.

“Honestly, he has never laughed so much,” she said. She gives thanks to the community group called Beach Ability Ingoldmells. They gifted her with this special gadget that provided them “the chance to experience waves and mother nature’s beauty instead of feeling left out and different.”

“I’m just so glad I managed to get it on camera. We will never, ever forget this day,” she added. Her son Joey was born prematurely at 27 weeks. He weighed a mere 2 pounds 6 ounces when he came out and until now, he is not strong enough to support his body to sit without help since he had been diagnosed with quadriplegic cerebral palsy.

Doctors have talked to them as a family, getting them ready for the fact that that he will never be able to walk. Still, that didn’t stop Helen, his mom, from trying her best to give him what he deserves. She is bent on doing everything she can to give him the best possible life. So, she focused on the things he loved rather on the things he didn’t.

She said that Joey hates how most things feel, but ever since before, he always enjoyed being in the water.  “He doesn’t handle well, especially with strangers, and gets so frustrated, but pop him in the bath and he is in heaven. It was like Joey was born to be a water baby. He has been through so much, so seeing him in the sea was the best feeling ever. He is so tiny, but mighty—and I’m sure his strength and determination won’t stop there.”

As for the community group, their main goal was simple: “Our mission is simple. We want to improve the quality of life for people living with a disability by getting them back onto the beach. The sea and beach are soothing for the soul, and we believe that everybody should have access to it. We are always happy to hear and welcome all feedback, both positive and negative, in a constant effort to improve ourselves and your experience with us.”

We can only hope that the rest with follow their lead and provide this kind of support for all disabled adults and children from all four corners of the globe.



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