Libby is a lively 10-year-old with a beautiful smile that could light up the whole room. According to mum Zoe Thorne, she has “a cheeky, infectious personality” and “bucket loads of determination”.
Suffering from quadriplegic cerebral palsy, Libby requires full-time care. Her family takes her horse riding regularly, which she enjoys tremendously. “Libby likes to be involved in all sorts of things and she will give everything a go”, Zoe explains.
The Thorne family moved to their current two-storey house seven years ago from a smaller ground floor flat. Libby’s bedroom was downstairs, whereas the rest of the family slept upstairs. This caused problems from the start.
“Libby felt insecure downstairs and she used to get up many times during the night, so we started carrying her upstairs. She says she feels safer and a part of the family when she is sleeping in the bedroom upstairs”, Zoe says.
However, carrying Libby upstairs quickly became unfeasible for Zoe and her husband Matt who have both had to take painkillers due to the strain on their backs and muscles. The family needed a ‘through floor lift’ that could carry Libby safely upstairs in her wheelchair.
Unable to get help from their local council to fund the wheelchair lift, the couple set up a crowdfunding campaign called “Lift Libby” with the help of the girl’s uncle Daniel. The campaign became the nominated charity at the 2015 Southampton Boat Show Dinner, an event which went on to raise the majority of the funds required.
Several friends, family and strangers also donated through the crowdfunding website. “We thought it was going to take a year to reach our goal, but we achieved it in about seven weeks. The support we have received has been amazing”, Daniel says.
The Thornes have been extremely pleased with their new Harmony lift. “I cannot even begin to describe how much it has changed our lives”, Zoe says.
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