A girl is designing Christmas cards to raise money for an accessible bedroom and bathroom for her disabled younger brother. Nine-year-old Evie Haynes has designed the cards to sell in local shops, to help raise £10,000 for an extension for her disabled brother. Evie loves to draw, and wanted to help out her five-year-old little brother Jack, who has cerebral palsy and has suffered from seizures all his life. Their mum Hayley Haines has applied for a £30,000 grant from Wiltshire Council for renovation work at their family home in Trowbridge, Wilts. They want to give Jack his own accessible bedroom and bathroom. But the family still need to raise a further £10,000 of their own before the work can take place. And little Evie wanted to get involved with helping her brother – so has drawn her own, colourful Christmas card design to sell at her school and in local shops. The Mead Primary School pupil said: ‘I wanted to help my brother Jack as he has trouble getting around.
‘I enjoy drawing and wanted to be a part of the fundraising my mum is doing.’ And mum-of-two Hayley said: ‘Evie loves doing her drawing and is really creative, and she was so keen to help her brother. ‘She is just an amazing big sister, and although a huge majority of my time is taken up by caring for Jack, she never complains and is always willing to help. ‘The number of times she has had to come to hospital with us in the middle of the night if Jack has had a seizure is too much to count. ‘But she still goes to school as normal the next day with a smile on her face.’ Hayley added: ‘These home improvements would make life so much easier for all of us. ‘We live in a two-bedroom house, so at the moment Jack shares with me and Evie has her own space. ‘I would love for Jack to be able to be more independent and have his own room with a specialised bed and an accessible bathroom. ‘I also would love a ramp going into the garden as he just loves playing outside.’ Now Evie’s Christmas cards have been designed, Hayley is hoping to find a company who will be willing to print them. She said: ‘I am really hoping someone or some company will be able to print maybe around 500 of them for us. ‘I do feel it is a lot to ask but if someone was willing to help it would mean so much to us.
‘The local Budgens store has already said we may be able to sell them there if we can get them printed, and Evie and Jack will both sell them at their school’s Christmas fairs.’ Jack had his first seizure when he was just seven hours old. This caused his condition, as well as epilepsy and a tendency to suffer from life-threatening seizures. Over the past year Jack and his family have been in and out of hospital as he was having regular seizures, but he has now been put on new medication which has stabilised him.
But he still has difficulties with his mobility and requires round-the-clock care. He receives visits from Julia’s House nurses to help him with his condition, but his mum has recently given up her job as a special needs nurses to be his full-time carer. Hayley added: ‘Jack is such a happy and social little boy. Despite his health and physical challenges he is a very determined and brave little boy. ‘Today Jack uses a walking frame and sometimes a wheelchair to get about. ‘Stairs can be a struggle especially when he is tired, which is why the extension would be so useful.’