Lowestoft couple fundraise to buy new wheelchair for twin son who was born 15 weeks early

Parents Kirstie and Aimee Messenger with twins Cohen and Ethan who were born 15 weeks early. They ar

Parents Kirstie and Aimee Messenger with twins Cohen and Ethan who were born 15 weeks early. They are fundrasing to buy him a new wheelchair. Picture: Nick Butcher. - Credit: Nick Butcher

When Aimee and Kirstie Messenger's twin boys were born 15 weeks early, they were told to prepare for the worst.

Cohen and Ethan who were born 15 weeks early. Picture: Courtesy of family.

Cohen and Ethan who were born 15 weeks early. Picture: Courtesy of family. - Credit: Archant

Cohen and Ethan weighed just 810 grams and 820 grams respectively, and were transferred to the Rosie Hospital in Cambridge for emergency care.

The Lowestoft couple were told that sons would not survive and to start planning their funerals.

However after spending 128 days in four different hospitals and undergoing several operations, the babies were able to go home.

Cohen in the R82 Kudu wheelchair which his family is fundraising for. Picture: Courtesy of family.

Cohen in the R82 Kudu wheelchair which his family is fundraising for. Picture: Courtesy of family. - Credit: Archant

But despite Ethan now starting nursery like any other two-and-a-half-year-old, Cohen still needs 24-hour care.


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Kirstie, 35, said: 'When we put them in their car seats and took them home we thought our journey was over but it was just the beginning.

'Every moment we spend with Cohen we cherish.'

Cohen and Ethan who were born 15 weeks early. Picture: Courtesy of family.

Cohen and Ethan who were born 15 weeks early. Picture: Courtesy of family. - Credit: Archant

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Cohen has cerebral palsy, uncontrolled epilepsy, dystonia, vocal cord palsy, and has to be fed through a tube into his stomach for 20 hours a day as it is unsafe for him to swallow. He also has a condition called central apnea which means he stops breathing throughout the day and night requiring anything from gentle stimulation to full resuscitation. He is also on oxygen 24-hours a day.

Despite this, Kirstie said: 'He's happy from the moment he wakes up to the moment he goes to sleep. He is always smiling.

'He can't speak but he lets us know what he wants, and everything he goes through he keeps smiling.'

Parents Kirstie and Aimee Messenger with twins Cohen and Ethan who were born 15 weeks early. They ar

Parents Kirstie and Aimee Messenger with twins Cohen and Ethan who were born 15 weeks early. They are fundrasing to buy him a new wheelchair. Picture: Nick Butcher. - Credit: Nick Butcher

Now his parents are fundraising to buy an R82 Kudo wheelchair to better suit his needs.

Aimee, 33, said: 'You can't put Cohen in certain positions because he will stop breathing.

'He's not in the correct position in the wheelchair we were provided with and it doesn't give him the support he needs, but it is the only one funded in this area. The one we are fundraising for will give him everything he needs and more.'

Kirstie and Aimee Messenger with their sons Cohen and Ethan who were born 15 weeks early. Picture: C

Kirstie and Aimee Messenger with their sons Cohen and Ethan who were born 15 weeks early. Picture: Courtesy of family. - Credit: Archant

The wheelchair costs just under £4,000 and the couple have set up an online fundraising page, where more than £2,00 has already been donated, as well as holding online raffles through Cohen's Wish For Wheels Facebook page.

Aimee said: 'We've got strangers messaging us to donate money and offering to do things.'

Visit www.gofundme.com/cohenswishforwheels or Cohen's Wish For Wheels on Facebook.

Fundraising

Aimee and Kirstie have been overwhelmed by the support received from friends, family and strangers.

Tomorrow, October 14, four sponsored walks are being held in aid of their appeal, with walkers setting off from the Claremont Pier in Lowestoft at 11am and completing different length routes.

Cohen will be joining in completing half a mile in his walker - a huge challenge for him.

Anyone who would like to join in is welcome to turn up on the day.

The couple are also planning three Christmas parties at Niblets Family Soft Play Park in Lowestoft on Saturday, December 2. The venue, staff wages and all the takings from the cafe on the day will be donated. The parties run 9.30-11.30am, 12.30-2.30pm and 3.30-5.30pm.

Tickets are available from Niblets or through Cohen's Facebook page.

The couple would like to thank everyone for their generosity.

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