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Lowestoft’s Cohen Messenger to receive new wheelchair by Christmas thanks to outpouring of support from town

PUBLISHED: 11:21 09 November 2017 | UPDATED: 11:36 09 November 2017

Cohen Messenger. Photo Mick Howes.

Cohen Messenger. Photo Mick Howes.

Archant

A two-year-old boy with cerebral palsy is set to receive a specialised wheelchair which will greatly improve his quality of life in time for Christmas.

Cohen Messenger with his twin brother Ethan and parents Aimee and Kirsty Messenger. Photo: Mick Howes. Cohen Messenger with his twin brother Ethan and parents Aimee and Kirsty Messenger. Photo: Mick Howes.

Cohen Messenger, of Lowestoft, will enjoy new-found independence after an outpouring of support from the town allowed his parents to order the much-needed chair.

Aimee and Kirstie Messenger, Cohen’s parents, have held a series of fundraising events to raise money for the £4,000 R82 Kudo wheelchair.

“It’s absolutely amazing”, said Aimee, “It makes me quite tearful to be honest.

“The Lowestoft public have bought Cohen his wheelchair. We owe the rest of his life and his future development to them.”

Donations to ‘Cohen’s Wish for Wheels’ GoFundMe page currently stands at £4,248.

An additional £400 raised by Tesco, in Leisure Way, will be donated to the fund following a special presentation this Saturday.

Sue Egan, community champion at the branch, was inspired to help out following a previous story in The Journal.

And while the majority of donations have come from the local community, Cohen’s tale has spread around the world.

“Only yesterday a woman from Switzerland who had read the story online donated £100 – it’s unbelievable”, said Aimee.

Cohen has cerebral palsy, uncontrolled epilepsy, dystonia and vocal cord palsy, he is also on oxygen 24-hours a day.

Additionally, he suffers from central apnea, a condition which causes him to stop breathing at any time and can require resuscitation day and night.

The new wheelchair will allow Cohen to lie flat, meaning any medical interventions can be carried out faster and with greater ease.

Aimee added: “We have surpassed our goal but have asked the public to keep supporting us to help Cohen as he grows.

“Unfortunately a lot of the equipment that Cohen needs can’t be supplied by the NHS simply because it is so expensive.”

The extra money will go towards purchasing items such as a specialised bath seat and a portable oxygen concentrator.

Aimee said: “Cohen is a child with extreme special needs so requires a lot of specialised equipment.

“We are just trying to get the best we can for our son.”

If you would like to continue supporting Cohen, visit: www.gofundme.com/cohenswishforwheels

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