‘Whirlwind’ Missy gets her own mini soft play

Little Missy Ackleton has her own mini soft play after the Steve Morgan Foundation stepped in to help.

The six-year-old from Liverpool is unique after being born with a condition without a name. It means she has a set of complex needs that include epilepsy, being tube-fed, an inability to speak more than two words and a hearing impairment.

According to her Mum Shelley McLean, Missy also has ‘no sense of danger’ which means she’s prone to falling and needs round-the-clock care.

Shelley had her own beauty salon before her daughter was born but had to give it up because Missy needed her full-time attention.

In desperation she applied to the Steve Morgan Foundation for help and was awarded £2,500 in Enable Funding which provides specialised disability equipment for people of all ages.

The grant has funded the conversion of the family’s garage into a mini soft play room with floor and wall padding, bendy mirror, sensory mirror panel and a swing.

Shelley, who also has a seven-year-old son called Chase, said the new room had transformed her and her daughter’s life.

“It’s amazing,” she said. “Missy loves it and it’s made a real difference. It’s helped reduce my anxiety ten-fold.  Missy never sits still and she’s in and out all the time. It’s like a mini soft play just for Missy.”

Shelley, who lives in the Woolton area of Liverpool, explained the impact of her daughter’s complex needs.

“Missy doesn’t stop for a minute,” she said. “She’s like a little whirlwind. She didn’t start crawling until she was four and she’s not stopped since.

“She’s tube-fed but is very happy and has a wicked sense of humour. She only says two words – ‘Mama’ and ‘babba’ – but she understands a lot even if she can’t say it.

“One of the challenges is Missy has no sense of danger. She’ll jump off anything, she doesn’t care. She broke her collar bone in two places in school after a fall.

“When I’m cooking she’s always behind me. Missy is into everything and has really come on. She’s keeps me on her toes and will need care for the rest of her life.

“Now that the garage has been converted into a mini soft play I know that when Missy is in there’s she’s safe and happy. It also frees me a little bit more.”

Enable grants are available to provide a wide variety of specialised equipment for people of all ages within the Steve Morgan Foundation remit area –  for application details click here, or telephone (01829) 782808.

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