2-Year-Old Boy With Cerebral Palsy Enjoyed Beach For The First Time Thanks To A Special Wheelchair

Nov 24, 2022 by apost team

There's a certain kind of comfort about hearing waves touching the shore, making beach trips easily one of the best family activities to go for if you're looking for a calming yet fun way to bond with your loved ones. Plus, who doesn't love bathing in the salty waters of the ocean under the scorching heat of the sun anyway? Sadly, not everyone can easily access the beach. Others even need to travel hundreds of miles just to get to a beach. Well, one kid certainly loves the water – and while he can easily access the beach, his condition prevents him from enjoying what it has to offer.

Unlike most kids, Joey Leathwood from Sheffield can't make sandcastles or run along the shores or play a chasing game with his family because of his condition called cerebral palsy, which makes him unable to maintain balance and posture.

While swimming in a pool might be a fun way to practice moving around for kids like Joey, it isn't ideal to do it in the ocean, much less an open sea. Apparently, Joey is a water person. But he isn't really a fan of the sand touching his body. Cerebral palsy can also cause hypersensitivity, making those with the said condition feel overwhelmed by certain textures.

So, the best way to do it is to carry him. But what if Joey decides to stay a bit longer and enjoy the view as much as he can? His family could probably take turns carrying him, but that would still be more challenging.

Well, they eventually found a smarter way to do it, and it did wonders for Joey, who didn't have to touch the sand at all to enjoy the beach – and it's through a specialized wheelchair designed that suited him perfectly.

Be sure to reach the end of this article to see the full video :-)

The local charity that rented out the wheelchair to them for free was BeachAbility, founded in 2012.

But the Hippocampe beach wheelchair made by French manufacturer VipaMat comes at a whopping price of roughly around $3,880. It comes with a headrest and harness to make sure those who have the same condition as Joey get to sit uptightly without having any troubles.  

Thanks to the off-road, Joey was able to enjoy the beach for the first time. But the best part of he got the chance to play with his siblings, Connor and Maisie.

"With him being unable to sit up it's impossible to play with my other kids and have Joey be part of it until we hired the Hippocampe beach wheelchair from BeachAbility," Joey's mom Helen Butterfield told the Daily Mail.

In a video shared by Butterfield on Facebook, Joey can be seen laughing as the waves come tumbling unto him. Joey's father, Tom, was likewise all smiles, while his mom could be heard laughing over her son's pure reaction.

Meanwhile, Butterfield thanked BeachAbility as she shared how heartwarming it felt to see her son enjoying the beach for the first time.

"Well what can I say, I honestly from the whole of my heart want to thank you guys for making my boy so happy! He has been through so much and seeing him belly laugh the way he has today has made our year. You are doing so much good giving people the chance to experience the seaside. I could cry I'm that happy, Joey loved every second, thank you so much," she said.


What can you say about Joey Leathwood's reaction while riding his wheelchair? Let us know your thoughts, and pass this on to your closest family and friends!

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