A bedtime lifeline for little Lydia

Every parent worries about their child getting a good night's sleep if they are ill '“ but for parents of four-year-old Lydia Rankin this is a constant worry.
Lydia Rankin with parents Ruth and Paul RankinLydia Rankin with parents Ruth and Paul Rankin
Lydia Rankin with parents Ruth and Paul Rankin

But thanks to new specialist sleeping system the Wigan four-year-old and her mum and dad can rest easier.

Lydia has a condition where fluid accumulates in her brain resulting in brain abnormalities – and has a shunt fitted which drains the excess fluid from her brain.

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She is unable to talk but communicates through laughing and crying. She has also developed a spine curvature so was in need of a specialist sleeping system to support her to sleep in a straight position throughout the night at her Hindley Green home.

Mum Ruth said: “Lydia would have to be supported even while sleeping in order for her shunt to drain the excess fluid. Because she was in an upright position, her head would fall back which sometimes made her throw up. No matter how many pillows we would prop up behind her, her head still managed to fall back.”

With no statutory funds available for the £1,000 sleeping system, Lydia’s family turned to Newlife Foundation for Disabled Children – a charity provider of essential equipment to meet the specialist needs of children with disabilities and terminal illness.

Ruth said: “Lydia had her tonsils out a few weeks ago and was hardly getting any sleep; since she’s been in the new sleeping system the impact has been amazing. She is sleeping so much better than before. We recently found out that because of the curvature in her spine she has to sleep in a straight line at all times to keep her back straight – this is now possible.

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“Because Lydia is now getting a good night’s sleep her dad and I have been sleeping much better too. We do not have to worry as much as we did before because we know Lydia is in the correct position to support her posture. We are very grateful to Newlife and can’t imagine Lydia without her sleeping system – the impact has been fabulous for the whole family.”

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