Free to explore, the little girl with chronic lung disease whose life-saving oxygen supply is fitted to her Trunki toy suitcase
Eight-year-old Jessica needs oxygen from a tank to avoid brain damageSuffers from conditions such as cerebral palsy and chronic lung diseaseCurrent mobile oxygen supplies were too big, so her mum had to carry themHas now had her Trunki – a toy suitcase – modified to carry the cylinder
17:17 GMT, 16 April 2013
19:54 GMT, 16 April 2013
Eight-year-old Jessica, with foster mother Carolyn, has become the first person to have her
life-saving oxygen supply transported in her toy luggage
An eight-year-old girl has become the first person to be given a life-saving oxygen supply in her toy luggage.
Jessica has had her Trunki – a suitcase that can be ridden on or pulled along – specially modified to carry the life-saving cylinder.
The eight-year-old suffers from cerebral palsy, pulmonary hypertension and chronic lung disease which means her blood quickly loses oxygen, threatening her with fatal brain damage.
Current mobile oxygen supplies were too big for her, which meant her mother Carolyn Carey, 44, or another adult had to carry it in a rucksack.
But thanks to Carolyn and the charity
Cerebra, which helps brain injured children and young people – Jessica
is as free as any other little girl to explore the world with her
bright pink life-saving luggage in tow.
Carey said: 'The Trunki is bright pink and the other children don't see
it as something medical, it looks like a toy any of them would use.
used to have to stay with an adult or with me at all times because we
had the rucksack with oxygen in it, but now she's free to explore on her
'She can use it at
school or out playing and when we go to hospital for an appointment,
she's off and in there before I've got chance to get out of the car.
'It's the only one in the country
like it. Cerebra have stabilised it and added a rigid handle instead of a
strap, but apart from that, it looks just like a Trunki.'
was born premature at just 27 weeks and has had cerebral palsy since
birth. She also suffers from weakness down her left side because of the
mother added: 'Without the oxygen Jessica loses energy quickly, she
becomes irritable and as her blood loses oxygen, it can lead to brain
'I wanted her to have the freedom of other girls, as [having an oxygen tank at school] was hard for her.
'When I looked for mobile oxygen carriers, all there were only adult ones, they only had two wheels and were too big.'
A solution came when Carolyn contacted the charity Cerebra, where staff came up with the idea to specially modify the popular child's toy first seen on the TV show Dragon's Den.
Jessica suffers from cerebral palsy and chronic lung disease which means her blood quickly loses oxygen, threatening her with fatal brain damage. Current mobile oxygen supplies were too big for her
Hope: Thanks to the charity Cerebra, Jessica is as free as any other little girl to explore the world with her bright pink life-saving luggage in tow
Jessica's foster mother Carolyn said: 'She used to have to stay with an adult or with me at all times because we had the rucksack with oxygen in it, but now she's free to explore on her own'
Elaine Collins, from Cerebra, said: 'We
were working on design solutions to fulfil the brief set by Carolyn and
struggling to achieve something we could make by hand and within budget
that would enhance Jessica's life and give her something to be proud of.
'We then thought of Trunki and tried to modify one for its new use.
'Magmatic, the design team behind Trunki were very supportive of our work and very kindly donated lots of their products for any future conversions we were able to dream up.
'A product like this, which can give freedom and independence as well as enhance social inclusion, is a great thing.
'This is really important and in our designs we work especially hard to give the children something to be proud of, something to help them say “yes I am different, and yes, I am amazing.'