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Mother's plea for new bed for severely autistic teenager

PUBLISHED: 12:44 06 April 2019 | UPDATED: 21:06 06 April 2019

Callum Steel has autism and needs a larger version of a specialist unbreakable bed to keep him safe and comfortable. Picture: Courtesy of Newlife

Callum Steel has autism and needs a larger version of a specialist unbreakable bed to keep him safe and comfortable. Picture: Courtesy of Newlife

Courtesy of Newlife

A mother of a severely autistic teenager is turning to the public for help to buy a new specialist bed for her son.

Despite being 5ft 10ins and 16 stone, 17-year-old Callum Steel has the mental age of a toddler. Unaware of his own strength he needs a specialist bed that is unbreakable, to keep him safe and comfortable.

The Norwich teen, of Nursery Lane, Old Costessey, has autism and learning difficulties which affects his everyday life - he does not speak, has no awareness of danger and has recently started having seizures.

He sleeps in a specialist bed which he has now outgrown, and with problems with his mobility he is unable to sleep in a standard bed.

But the specialist bed costs around £774 which is not funded by the local authority, and so Callum’s family and charity Newlife are appealing to the public to help raise the money.

Mum Carla Steel said: “Callum can’t move at all in his current bed, it’s far too short and narrow. I’m really worried that if he has a seizure he could fall and badly hurt himself.

“He must be very uncomfortable at night, but has no way of telling us. A standard bed isn’t an option as he easily breaks the sides and slats which he could then hurt himself on.

“Callum doesn’t mean to break them, but we went through so many beds before Newlife helped us. The bed they provided has stood up to so much, but he has completely outgrown it.

“Nothing escapes Callum’s heavy handedness and the family sofas are broken on a regular basis as he lands so heavily he goes right through the back. We just buy second hand sofas now, but we can’t afford to keep buying Callum beds all the time, it’s not possible.”

Newlife senior manager for care services Carrick Brown said: “Unfortunately, while we desperately want to help Callum, we simply don’t have the funds available. This is why we’re calling on members of the local community to get involved to raise the £774 needed that will make such a big difference to Callum and his family for many years to come.”

Anyone able to help Callum should contact Newlife on 01543 431444, visit the website at www.newlife.support/HelpCallum or email local@newlifecharity.co.uk.

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