THE family of a disabled youngster have been left overwhelmed after the kindness of strangers helped raise more than £11,000 to allow their son to finally find his ‘voice’.
Logan Smith, of Worsbrough Road, Birdwell, was born with hydrocephalus hypotonia – a type of cerebral palsy – which has stunted much of his development.
The four-year-old spent months in hospital when he was born where his mum, Cody Hepple, was told that Logan may ‘not make it’.
Logan spent around three to four months in a number of hospitals with Cody and the family, and was even diagnosed with heart failure and underwent brain surgery just days after being born.
He is non-verbal and was also diagnosed with global development delay and visual impairment – but his mum admits he’s just like any other ‘happy little boy’.
Cody, 29, set up a fundraiser back in 2020 to help get life-changing equipment for her son as well as urgent private therapy sessions.
But, after changing the fundraiser to help raise an extra £4,500 for an Eyegaze machine – a piece of equipment where you use your eyes to scroll rather than using a mouse – Cody was overwhelmed with the kindness of strangers following an article which featured on the front page of the Chronicle in February.
“We reached the target last month which was just absolutely amazing and the Chronicle played a massive part in that by running Logan’s story,” she said.
“We had an anonymous donation of £2,500 and after posting on Facebook we received another £1,000 donation which helped us hit the target – it’s just completely life-changing.
“We’ve had so many people donate so it’s just impossible to thank everyone.
“Even those who shared the appeal and donated as little as £1 all helped us reach the target and we couldn’t have done it without them.
“I’m still trying to come to terms with it all.”
Cody said she couldn’t stop crying when she found out they’d hit the target, and now believes the sky’s the limit for Logan.
“The company came out and we’re going to be trialling the equipment for two weeks,” she added.
“Logan isn’t just going to be able to communicate with us over night but the sky is really the limit – everyone has helped give him a voice.
“The machine we have for Logan is just in the analysing stage so we want to make sure it’s perfect for him.
“I couldn’t believe it when we hit the target, I’ve met so many amazing people through the fundraising.
“It’s so hard to say thank you to every single one of them and a thank you just isn’t enough – they’ve changed our life.”
Cody admits the family wouldn’t have been able to afford the piece of equipment – worth almost £9,000 – and was even reluctant to originally ask for help.
“I never expected to raise this much money when we first started out,” Cody said.
“I was scared to ask for help in the first place, but I’ve gone for it and it’s changed our life – people have helped us with this and we’ll be forever grateful.
“Any more money that’s raised will all go towards Logan and we’ve already managed to get him a specialist chair.
“We’ve recently been able to get permission to give him a downstairs bedroom so we will be getting him things for that and more sensory items, too.
“We wouldn’t have ever been able to do this ourselves because we’re just a normal family and it’s just so much money.
“This piece of equipment will finally allow Logan to communicate with us – it’s crazy.
“It’s not only going to completely change his life but also ours and I’ll never be able to express how much that means to us.
“We just haven’t got the words.”