A baby sat on a therapy mat playing with a red plastic bowl

Evan's story

My son Evan was born at 26 weeks, and as soon as we were told that he was at high risk of developing cerebral palsy, I went into research mode and thanks to google I found Cerebral Palsy Cymru. I found the self-referral option on their website and filled out the form immediately. I had a response from Glenys, the charity’s Family Support Coordinator, within a few days and we arranged to chat once Evan was closer to his discharge from hospital.  

One of the upsides of having a premature baby is that because the likelihood of developing cerebral palsy is higher, we were provided with a lot of support from the start as we knew Evan had had a brain injury. We felt comforted by knowing that we could go to cerebral palsy Cymru for help as well as access the services that the NHS offer. Having these services readily available to you as a parent feels like a safety net and allows us to give Evan the best start in life after his early entry into the world. 

The early intervention that Evan has received from Cerebral Palsy Cymru through ‘Better Start, Better Future’ has been incredibly valuable. After the therapy sessions, we see improvements straight away. Evan’s brain injury impacted the left side of his body, but throughout his time at Cerebral Palsy Cymru we have seen marked improvements on the movement of his left-hand side.

A small baby boy lying on a blanket

For example, before he was unable to put his left hand on his bottle, or his left leg on his pram bar, but now he can now do both of those things, amongst others. We are seeing a lot more spontaneous movement when Evan is playing with toys, and he is very determined to get his left hand involved. The most recent development since his last block of therapy is that he is now able to crawl on his hands and knees, previously he only army crawled! 

‘Better Start, Better Future’ has made a huge difference to our family. Because the outputs of the early intervention therapy are positive, there is then a positive knock-on effect to our family. We are so proud of what Evan has achieved, and we know this is thanks to Cerebral Palsy Cymru. 

I can’t even imagine what it would have been like to not have access to the ‘Better Start, Better Future’ early intervention service. We have learnt so much that we have been able to replicate at home, so if this service didn’t exist not only would Evan have missed out on that direct therapy, but also then our ability as a family to support him at home.  

All children at risk at developing cerebral palsy should have access to this service. The therapy and support that Cerebral Palsy Cymru offers is incredible in changing lives. Families learn directly from the sessions enabling them to carry on the therapy at home, extending the support further. 

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