Fundraiser to buy Wren’s buggy

A family whose two-year-old daughter nearly died at birth and has subsequently been left with devastating life-long conditions, say that she loves the wild spaces around her and that they want her to continue to enjoy them as she grows.

By John A. MacInnes
Thursday, 12th November 2020, 4:00 pm
Can you support this appeal?
Can you support this appeal?

Conor Lawless and his partner Katy moved to North Uist in 2017, and say it’s been one of the best decision they’ve ever made.

In 2018, during daughter Wren’s birth, things suddenly and unexpectedly went awry

She suffered severe blood loss which left her with a very serious brain injury. As a result, Wren has cerebral palsy which affects all four limbs and her trunk, Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (a form of epilepsy) and cerebral visual impairment, meaning she is registered blind.

Conor and mum Katy with Wren and her brother

Wren has a twin brother Fitheach who is very protective of her.

The toddler enjoys music, listening to people speaking, being picked up and danced about, cuddling and going for bouncy cross-country walks. She just loves listening to the wind and the waves crashing on the shore.

Unfortunately, as Wren has grown, she is now becoming too large to be carried by mum and dad, and her normal NHS wheelchair just isn’t suitable to be taken on the beach or to the places Wren enjoys so much.

And that’s where two selfless local individuals stepped in.

Wren and her brother Fitheach attend Saoghal Beag nursery at Sgoil Uibhist a Tuath where Donna Kilchoan and Katelin Morrison look after both of them.

The young North Uist women, have taken it upon themselves to endure a 50km walk and cycle around North Uist on December 20 in order to raise money to purchase a specialist chair for Wren, thus allowing her to continue trips to the beach and countryside.

The pair have set up a fundraising page at help Wren’s appeal and are hoping islanders will, as they usually do, get behind the appeal to make purchasing the chair a reality for the family.

It’s not a cheap purchase at approximately £4,000 by the time all the necessary head and body supports are added in, but for Wren, who has no control over being able to sit up unaided, they are completely necessary.

The target of £4,000 is well underway with £2565 already in the pot.

Conor told the Gazette: “Donna and Katelin’s offer to help Wren was really unexpected and incredibly thoughtful.

“Wren is very lucky to have such considerate carers and our whole family will benefit a great deal from being able to continue to take Wren on outdoor adventures.

“I hope that Wren will be able to enjoy some level of independence. It is very satisfying seeing her grow and develop, but, like most parents in this situation, it’s not clear to us what she will be able to achieve since we have little to compare with.

“We can imagine how her twin brother Fitheach’s life will go, moving through school, girlfriends, work etc. But Wren is more of a mystery and we worry about her future.”

Donna and Katelin said: “We decided to do this walk because we work closely with Wren.

“We see how much she loves being outdoors with the family and wanted to do something to help. After discussion we decided that raising money for a outdoor buggy would benefit Wren and the family.

“Working in the nursery we know how much specialist equipment costs.

“To be able to contribute a little bit to help Wren enjoy the wind in her hair feels great.”