Case study - how equipment helped Barney Clark

Barney Clark

Care Cot offers safety, comfort and care to 5-year-old Barney and family from Cornwall

The concern: Various disabilities resulting from brain tumour removal including difficulties with balance, co-ordination and safety awareness
Solution: Height adjustable cot

With three young siblings Barney is a remarkable boy who survived a brain tumour and a 10% chance of survival at one-year old. Following surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy Barney continues to enhance his abilities. However he has several disabilities associated with co-ordination and balance. To remain safe and comfortable when at rest, it is essential that he has an appropriate care cot that protects him, as Barney has no safety awareness. He can achieve a sit-to-stand with assistance, however Barney cannot maintain a standing position unaided.

During the night Barney needs to be connected to his ventilator via his tracheostomy and must sleep with his head in an elevated position. Before owning a power adjustable cot, Barney and his family were trying to manage this using an out-dated white metal high-sided cot kindly loaned by the Royal Cornwall Hospital. This bed quickly became impractical as Barney grew larger which resulted in his Mum, Amy, rapidly seeking a better solution.

Amy is a qualified hospital Doctor training for General Practice and initially discussed Barney's needs with her assigned community nursing team and Occupational Therapist.

Amy spent time researching online for assistive beds that might be ideal for her son. This led to the discovery of a YouTube video which highlighted features and benefits of a height adjustable cot. Amy explains: 'The video was helpful. I had looked at other products but none of them ticked all the boxes as this height adjustable cot did. Watching the video was the next best thing to being in a shop, it made it so easy to understand the product.'

The care cot is a flexible paediatric sleeping solution that can be adapted to changing needs. It is a future proof cot with features such as interchangeable 4-8 door access on both sides, dividers to customise internal space and wide-ranging door inset designs. It negates the need to purchase a new cot in the future - it is a paediatric care bed for life that can be adapted with a range of door heights. It can be specified with safety padding with a variety of fun and engaging designs and also provides neat side access for feeding tubes and ventilator pipes.

Quiet electric motors provide sleeping platform height adjustment along with mattress profiling as an additional option, so totally bespoke positioning can be achieved. This provides added comfort for young users and safe working access for parents and carers as excessive bending and stooping can be avoided.

Amy continues: 'Following my research I contacted the supplier and one of their assessors came to visit. He brought along a care cot and assessed our needs to check if it would be appropriate for Barney, us and our carers. In his professional opinion he agreed it would be suitable and submitted his recommendations to our OT. We then had to seek funding which was finally provided several months later by the CCG. The need for the cot had become critical at that time as Barney was experiencing seizures at night; we were desperate for a safer solution.'

'The care cot was delivered and installed with no hassle and fitted perfectly into Barney's room - it immediately made Barney's room look like a cosy and inviting bedroom again, not a hospital ward.'

The Clark family have now owned their care cot for a few months and it has delivered significant improvements to day-to-day practicalities, care and well-being for all the family.

Amy adds: 'Barney loves his cot. I can see he feels safe in it and with the combination of Perspex door inserts and coloured rods he is not enclosed. Plus he can't poke his arms and legs through any gaps which was becoming an issue with his previous cot. The powered high-low adjustment makes caring for Barney so much easier especially when we put the cot's sleeping platform in its lowest position at floor level - we can attend to Barney with the doors open and with no fear of him falling.'

Being able to elevate Barney's head position at night is crucial for easier breathing and his parents also raise his knee position for greater postural support. Amy said: 'We have carers who monitor Barney every night to make sure he is okay and if he does have a seizure, he can be aided quickly and helped to regain stability. However in simple terms I would say the best benefit of having a care cot is that we can now sit and cuddle him in the same bed. We can read to him side-by-side which was never possible before - that's so special.'

Case study supplied by Theraposture

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