The Archie Foundation Family Centre facilitates lifechanging equipment for Shetland family

At The Archie Foundation, we strive to support families in need and were delighted to help a youngster from Shetland trial a specialist bed in our Family Centre recently.

Harrison Morris, 13, has a condition called Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD), an inherited disorder characterised by progressive muscular weakness. People with DMD can also develop neuromuscular scoliosis, where the spine twists and curves to the side – as is the case with Harrison.

As the supplier couldn’t send the bed to his home in Shetland, Harrison’s family had been struggling to find a way to trial the bed and made several visits to the south of England to see what was possible. Unfortunately, everything they tried seemed too difficult or impossible, so we were delighted to be able to help.

This was a huge collaborative effort by many including the Occupational Therapists in Aberdeen and Shetland, NHS Bed Technicians, Archie Family Centre staff, Centrobed Technicians (supplier) and of course, Harrison and his parents.

The family spent a few days in the Archie Family Centre, experimenting with the bed and making sure it did what was needed. Harrison is due to have surgery shortly to straighten his spine which would mean two carers attending each day in order to turn him after his surgery.

The specialist bed enables him to turn himself, so carers won’t be needed, his mum Louise doesn’t have to struggle to turn him by herself and crucially, Harrison gets back the independence he is craving.

Harrison’s mum, Louise, said: “To have this opportunity to trial the bed has been fanatastic as it really will make such a difference, to all of us

“Usually Steve and I are up with Harrison several times each night to make sure he is comfortable and turn him when necessary – the last two nights all three of us have had the best nights sleep we have had in years, just brilliant – we can’t thank everyone involved enough”.

Paula Cormack, The Archie Foundation, Chief Executive, added: “We are delighted to have been able to help Harrison and his family, this is exactly the type of support The Archie Foundation is here for and to be able to facilitate this trial in our Family Centre is so gratifying for all concerned.”

The Archie Family Centre is open 24/7 for families across the north of Scotland to stay in free of charge, for as long as they need while their child is in hospital. The 19-bedroomed ‘hotel’ is based within Royal Aberdeen Children’s Hospital, right opposite the High Dependency Unit and directly below the main wards.

The Archie Foundation Family Centre facilitates lifechanging equipment for Shetland family