A couple are racing against time to raise £6,000 so their courageous little girl, cerebral palsy sufferer Alice Bates, can sleep at night with fewer agonising spasms.
Our picture shows a smiling Alice (10) trying out the bath of her dreams, one that would lessen her pain if she could have it at her Long Sutton home.
This pain interrupts her sleep and night after night we, her loving family, grieve as we watch her face contort in agony.Mum Charlotte Bates
Her mum and dad, Andy and Charlotte, are torn to shreds by the nightly vision of Alice’s beautiful smile being replaced by a grimace.
Charlotte says: “She has never known a day without painful spasms racking her little body. This pain interrupts her sleep and night after night we, her loving family, grieve as we watch her face contort in agony.”
The family are afraid to touch Alice in case they worsen her pain, and Charlotte says it needn’t be this way.
Alice has epilepsy, which means she would be at risk in a normal bath, but a specialist bath has just become available for £6,000 – some £4,500 below the normal purchase price – through another family.
If Alice were to have a seizure while bathing, there is a quick-release mechanism for the water to drain and the sides of the height-adjustable bath come down, enabling the family to pluck Alice to safety.
The family has raised just over £640 with a Halloween disco and online donations, plus a further £224 in a £2 a ticket draw for an Arsenal signed football from the 89/90 season, but they need to find £4,000 in double-quick time to secure the second hand bath and then collect the remaining £2,000.
Alice’s big sister, Abigail, will give up her bedroom so the family can install the bath recommended by her physiotherapist and orthopaedic surgeon.
Earlier this year, our magnificent readers helped 10 of Alice’s dearest wishes come true in response to our Ten for 10 Appeal.
Alice had wished for a bath to be installed, to soak away her aches and pains, but the inflatable bath purchased didn’t allow the little girl to maintain her body temperature or keep her muscles warm.
It also meant mum Charlotte had to kneel on the ground beside Alice, something now too painful to do as Charlotte has suffered a dislocated disc in her upper spine due to lifting Alice and tending to her needs.
• Donate to the bath at www.gofundme.com/amazing-alice-needs-time-pain-free or enter the draw at www.facebook.com/arsenalballprizedraw/