17-year-old Sophia Hill from Burton-on-Trent is set to have much more fun with her family thanks to receiving a specialist trike from local children’s charity, Simon’s Heroes.
Sophia contracted Streptococcal B Meningitis as a premature baby, which damaged her brain and left her with Hydrocephalus, a condition that causes an abnormal build-up of cerebral fluid. She has had a shunt installed in the floor of her brain that drains away the excess fluid into her tummy to help reduce the swelling and pressure, and has undergone several operations to manage this.
Sophia also has Suprabulbar Palsy, a brain disorder that affects her speech, tongue and mouth control. She has severe learning difficulties and left-sided weakness, which causes her some issues with her balance. She struggles with fine motor skills and co-ordination and cannot read or write.
Sophia lives with her mum Katie, twin sister Imogen and brother Oliver who all play a big part in her day-to-day caring. She loves to ride her bike but has no sense of danger or traffic. Over the last 12 months, Sophia has learnt to ride without her stabilisers intermittently, but only on flat ground.
‘We struggled to go on bike rides as a family as someone needed to be on foot to supervise Sophia in case she wobbled and fell off,’ her mum Katie explained. ‘The trailer trike Simon’s Heroes has gifted is fantastic and converts from a trike to a trailer in minutes, allowing Sophia her independence as well as supervised rides when necessary. It has given her a new lease of life and it’s wonderful to see her outdoors enjoying herself. Thank you Simon’s Heroes, we will finally be able to bike ride as a family.’
Author: C Bull