A wheel way to make a difference to the life of a disabled teenager

Orla O'Brien
Orla O'Brien
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A charity bid to buy a special wheelchair for a nature-loving disabled Berkhamsted teenager is closing in on its fundraising target.

The Gazette first ran Orla O’Brien’s story in October, and the goal of buying a lightweight all-terrain wheelchair.

Orla, 15, has low muscle tone and epilepsy. She easily tires, and although she can mobilise around the home she can’t walk far when she is out. Orla also needs somewhere to recover following seizures.

Newlife, the Charity for Disabled Children, is hoping that one extra fundraising push will help to purchase the £5,505 wheelchair.

Mum Nyree O’Brien said: “We live in an area surrounded by hilly woodlands but all the wheelchair-friendly paths are only about half a mile long and the standard wheelchair she has now just doesn’t do off-road at all.

“Orla would rather be out and about for hours at a time with her sisters so we end up having to walk and re-walk the same route.

“Orla absolutely wants to be out in the open air, joining in with everything.

“A lightweight carbon-fibre manual wheelchair that can cope with a rough track and a bit of mud would be perfect.”

> To donate or find out more, visit www.newlifecharity.co.uk/hertfordshire or call 01543 431 444.