Elaine and Bill Thornton have praised Interserve Healthcare for the support the company’s staff provide to their little son Jacob.
The couple adopted the seven-year-old last year, having fostered him since he was a baby. Jacob has quadriplegic cerebral palsy, has no controlled movement to his limbs, is partially sighted and has severe dystonia; among other conditions. He is in almost constant pain and is dependent on a wheelchair.
Jacob requires round the clock care. Interserve Healthcare (IHC) provides four healthcare assistants who look after the boy seven nights a week. The care Jacob receives includes monitoring, bathing, feeding through a tube and looking after the tracheotomy.
Elaine and Bill, who have seven adult children and 15 grandchildren, became foster carers some years ago, and Jacob was placed into their care.
She said: “Despite everything Jacob faces he is very, very happy. He has an endearing smile, and he won us over very early on.
“We came into it with our eyes wide open, we knew how much care he would require, but we also knew that because we had gotten to know him, that we were best placed to provide that care.
“I am delighted with the support that IHC provides. Their support is absolutely essential, we couldn’t cope without it. Because we share our house with the carers, it is so important that we all get along.”
Jacob can use an eye-tracking screen, similar to the device made famous by Stephen Hawkins. Jacob uses it to make images.
Elaine said: “The carers are excellent. We are absolutely thrilled to bits by their support. The team is very, very good. They each bring their individual style to caring for Jacob and he very much reacts positively to that. He has taken to each and every one of them.
“We share are house with the carers. We all get along very well.”
Sue Knight, IHC’s registered manager, said: “Jacob has to attend a number of different hospital appointments on a regular basis, his care package is dynamic, and his needs fluctuate continuously. Therefore our carers need to be able to provide the best possible support, and I am delighted to hear they are so highly thought of.
“Providing care for a loved one is such a sensitive and important task. We know Jacob responds really well to certain individuals and our staff are dedicated to his care.”
The family is in need of £60,000 which they must raise in seven months to make the necessary structural changes to the house to enable them to provide the care Jacob needs. The tight deadline is because if they raise the cash within that period, they release a £40,000 disability grant to help them carry out the work.
Elaine said: “We are desperate because we need the alterations in order to help make Jacob’s life better. We would be absolutely delighted if anyone could help us raise this much needed cash.”
The money is needed to enlarge all the doors, move the kitchen, create a specialist wet room for Jacob, and to make a sensory garden. Other renovations include creating a specialised bedroom for Jacob, widening all doorways, taking out walls and ramping to access rear garden.