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Sam's New Wheels

Sam in his new Hippocampe
Sam hits the beach in his new Hippocampe!

Hippocampe Wheelchair from Make A Wish

Five year old Sam from Southend-On-Sea lives with severe Cerebral Palsy which, as well as seriously affecting his speech and leaving him registered as blind, frequently afflicts him with life-threatening and prolonged seizures. As a result of this, he relies on his wheelchair and this can make it difficult for his family – Mum Rachel, Dad Tim and younger brother Jonah – to fully involve Sam in their trips, outings and holidays.

A wheelchair is a pretty bulky object to manoeuvre around the place. Sam wanted to be able to go where his family goes, so Make-A-Wish granted his wish by arranging for a ‘Hippocampe’ to be delivered. A what? A Hippocampe is an all-terrain wheelchair which can be easily pushed or pulled – or even self-propelled – over tough surfaces such as sand, mud and even snow, thus making it possible for the wheelchair user to gain access to places which were previously inaccessible. So, how did Sam and his family get on with their new acquisition? We’ll let Mum Rachel tell you herself....


“We have been absolutely bowled over with Sam's wish. The first weekend after Sam received his Hippocampe we took a walk along the beach – the first time in about four years (since he's been too heavy to carry comfortably). Since then we have been camping and used it lots, whether just for a walk in the park or around a country house. Sam absolutely loves it; it has opened up a new off-road world to the whole family. One evening when we got back to the trailer tent on our recent camping holiday Sam started moaning. When asked why and given the option of going for a walk, he clearly said yes (Sam's way). We walked together as a family along country lanes that would have been totally inaccessible without the Hippocampe. Sam vocalised, held our hands and generally engaged with us and his brother the whole time. I wish I was better with words cos I simply can't tell you how thrilled we are and excited at all the places we can now go.....we are unstoppable!"


"With tears in my eyes all I can think of to say is thank you so VERY much for making this dream a reality. PS It continues to be amazing. After a family run to the beach with Sam's little brother on his bike we all had a dip, with Sam being able to paddle from the comfort of his Hippocampe."