Once Willow came home from hospital it became quite
clear pretty soon that Willow would need extra therapies and
equipment that were not available from the NHS and the services and
equipment offered by the NHS were not going to help Willow reach her
potential. The NHS is an incredible service but all areas seems to
have had their budgets cut and staff are ridiculously overstretched,
in Willow's short life so far we have big changes in the departments
she needs access to.
Lots of people wanted to help Willow, family and friends helped us fundraise so that Willow could go to the Brainwave centre in Somerset for intensive physiotherapy and later to fund a private physiotherapist to make up the slack in NHS provided physiotherapy, so Go, Willow, Go was formed! It began as a simple Facebook group that we used to keep friends and family up-to-date with how Willow was getting on and what she was doing.
Through Go, Willow, Go fundraising Willow has received fortnightly physiotherapy for nearly 2 years and will soon be horse-riding weekly! We went to the Bobath Centre for a week in the hope that we would later go for a fortnight of therapy but the week alone was too much on our family, some days it took 3 hours in traffic to get there.
It's not an easy thing to do as a family, to ask for help in raising funds for your child, but without it Willow probably wouldn't be able to do all the things she does.
Part of being Willow's parent is to make sure we are always pushing her to achieve what she's capable of. We don't always know what she's capable of but with the help of her wonderful teacher at school, Jess, and her teaching assistants, and her early years teachers before them, we keep testing her out on new equipment, pushing the boundaries of what she's deemed capable of.
In the last term Willow has been using a pacer at school and at weekends at home, she's amazed everyone in how she's moving in it. She takes a particular kind of coaxing, namely tell her not to do something, or tell her NOT to crash into someone or something. She has been known to try and run over her teachers and classmates for fun.
This is a picture of her in it for only the second or third time. She's such a little monkey!
Such a joy to watch, though.