There were smiles all round at Keech Hospice Care yesterday (November 19) as children’s technology charity Lifelites arrived with a special package for little patients.
The cutting-edge equipment will empower young people with complex and life-threatening conditions to communicate effectively.
It’s designed specifically for disabled youngsters and its key element, Eyegaze, makes computers accessible.
Eyegaze allows them to track their eye movements through a camera, enabling them to move the cursor around the screen.
Children whose families and carers thought they were unable to communicate can now do so with this magical technology.
They can tell their carers what they would like to eat or drink and can even, for the first time, tell their parents that they love them.
It means these children can enter and stay involved in the world around them for as long as possible.
Lifelites aim to install an Eyegaze package in children’s hospices across the country.
Keech chief executive Mike Keel said: “Many of the children we care for are unable to communicate their wishes which is frustrating for them and their families.
“This new technology will make a hige difference and will provide them with the ability to express themselves and take enjoyment in technology like the majority of healthy young people.”
He added: “Cutting-edge tehcnology like this is very expensive so we are very grateful to Lifelites for this donation.”
Lifelites boss Simone Enefer-Doy said: “This has been a really exciting year for us.
“We’ve created a new training manager role which demonstrates our ongoing commitment to making sure children in hospices are getting the most out of our technology.
“As well as more laughter and smiles, we’re well on the way to providing Eyegaze at more than a quarter of children’s hospices in the British Isles.”
> Hospices do not pay for Lifelites projects and all the charity’s work is funded by donations.
The equipment, ongoing technical support and training at each hospice costs about £50,000 over a four year period.
Support for the Keech project came from Khoo Teck Puat UK Foundation, Revere Charitable Trust, Lodge of Tranquillity and Mrs B L Robinson’s Charitable Trust.