Case study - how equipment helped Gabriell Lothian and family

Gabriell Lothian and family

A cot assessment and installation of a paediatric cot for four-year-old Gabriell and family

Requirement: Profiling paediatric cot

Alan and Kira Lothian from Abingdon, Oxfordshire have four boys aged between four and 15. Their youngest son Gabriell has several medical conditions which include Cerebral Palsy, Epilepsy and Chronic Lung Disease. He has to be fed during the night via a feeding line and combined with his common nocturnal convulsions it is absolutely essential that he sleeps in a specialist paediatric cot.

When Alan, a Lance Corporal in 3 Logistics Support Regiment, transferred barracks from Colchester to Abingdon, Gabriell's cot had to be returned to the County Council at short notice.

Alan and Kira attempted to have this essential assistive bed transferred to their new home or made available for purchase, however the local authorities were not permitted to act positively. Gabriell's parents even contacted their local Liberal Democrat MP Bob Russell, but to no avail.

With only days to go before the Lothians were due to move to their new military home on Dalton Barracks, there seemed no solution for the specialist needs of their son. At this time Alan was luckily allowed leave by an understanding Commanding Officer, however Kira had just undergone knee surgery and was unable to walk. Coupled with the stress of moving house, looking after four boys and supporting Kira's disabled mother who lives with severe arthritis, the prospect of their youngest son's welfare being compromised was too much to cope with.

Kira explained: 'We were desperate to resolve this cot issue, as without it Gabriell would not be safe at night. Following our OT's recommendation, we got in contact with a company she recommended to find out about installing a suitable cot in our new home.'

Gabriell was prescribed with a paediatric cot. It is a fully adjustable powered care cot that provides a variety of functions which greatly assist with day-to-day care routines, whilst ensuring that the occupant is protected. The electronic height adjustment helps raise Gabriell to a safe working height. In achieving this, the height of the sides is not reduced as the entire cot raises to the desired safe working height. Additionally the electronic profiling ensures that Gabriell rests at an optimum angle to help with chest infections.

The Lothian family were specified the larger 90x200cm cot which allows Gabriell plenty of space to move at night or to enjoy play during the day. To ensure Gabriell can be attended to quickly, and to reduce the risk of back injury to either Alan or Kira during a side transfer, the cot has fully-folding, side-opening doors and an ergonomic hand controller.

Since the move into their new home and the installation of the cot, the Lothian family's lifestyle has settled down nicely. Gabriell has responded well to his Gastrostomy, his walking has greatly improved now without the use of a frame and the regular NHS care he receives in the area, especially at The John Radcliffe Hospital, has been first-rate. The establishment of a stable routine quickly has been imperative for Gabriel as he doesn't respond well to change. Alan will soon be posted to the Falkland Islands for seven months and Kira will then have to manage the household on her own, as well as juggling her student commitments back in Essex as she trains to be an accredited Health and Social Care Worker.

Nevertheless with the support of the Army, NHS Oxford and the new paediatric cot, the Lothian family can look forward to their new life in Abingdon. With the peace of mind that Gabriell's welfare is intact, the family can enjoy watching him progress towards his fifth birthday.

Case study supplied by Theraposture

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