Can you help Warwick schoolgirl Hannah to tell her mum how much she loves her?
Warwick dad Stephen Eykyn would like nothing more than for his daughter Hannah to be able to tell here mum Tara how much she loves her.
Due to a brain injury at birth, seven-year-old Ridgeway Primary School pupil Hannah, has athetoid quadriplegic cerebral palsy, which means she is unable to sit stand or walk without the use of very supportive equipment.
She is very bright but is unable to speak, which means communicating her thoughts, feelings and preferences can be frustrating for her.
Funding for an EyeGaze system - so Hannah could control a computer with her eyes and look at symbols that will build sentences - is being made available at Ridgeway but the family need to raise £2,000 to buy a device for use away from the school.
Mr Eykyn, 47 and an employee at the Progress Fabrications in Nelson Lane, said: “I would desperately love to hear Hannah tell her Mummy ‘I love you’ using an Eyegaze would give her the ability to say this and so much more.
The couple have set up a page on the JustGiving website for people to make donations to their appeal, which has so far raised £740 towards their target.
The largest donation, £500, was made by Warwick-based web design and marketing company Auburn Creative.
Mr Eykyn said: “We have been very humbled by people’s generosity and kindness.
“We had seen other appeals made through JustGiving and my sister-in-law told us we should give it a go.
“We’re overwhelmed by getting £700 so far.”
The Eyegaze Edge is an eye-operated communication and control system that empowers people with disabilities to communicate and interact with the world.
By looking at control keys or cells displayed on a screen, a user can generate speech either by typing a message or selecting pre-programmed phrases.
Eyegaze Edge Systems are being used to write books, attend school and enhance the quality of life of people with disabilities all over the world.
The famed professor Stephen Hawking uses similar technology and the Eykyn’s are hoping that, like him, Hannah will be able to have a device attached to her wheelchair one day.
Mr Eykyn said: “Having an Eyegaze would change Hannah’s life massively.
“It will open up hundreds of possibilities for her in her vocabulary and allow her to express her feelings and make choices such as what television programme she wants to watch or what food she wants to eat.
“It’ll also mean she can communicate and interact with her cousins
“It’s all things which people normally take for granted.”
In July, the Eykyns will be attending a national residential weekend at the Hayes Conference Centre at Swanick, in Derbyshire, held by 1Voice .
1Voice provides a network and support for children and adults using communication aids.
It promotes families supporting each other to overcome the isolation that being unable to speak can bring.
The event will provide the Eykyns with an introduction to augmentative and alternative communication (AAC).
To make a donation visit crowdfunding.justgiving.com/hannah-eykyn