Here is the mother of a terminally ill boy who was cradled by Prince Harry, seems angelic, doesn’t it? But this mother has now spoken out and has slammed the horrifying plight of the public amenities in England for disabled children.
Ollie Carroll, six, and his four-year-old sister, Amelia, are both fighting Batten Disease, which strips kids of their eyesight, communication and movement and both children spent time with Prince Harry at London’s Great Ormond Street Hospital earlier this year after he made an emotional surprise call.
Months after Ollie Carroll shared a magical moment with Prince Harry at the WellChild Awards, Ollie Carroll’s mum hit out at the United Kingdoms very limited disabled changing amenities, insisting they are preventing some families from venturing out.
Lucy Carroll, from Cheshire, states that each time she changes Ollie in a public area, she wanders out hot, stressed and sometimes in tears and most changing tables are far too small for her son, implying that he is forced to curl his body up, with his older sibling holding his head.
And, she and her husband, are sometimes forced to change their son in his buggy, which is very uncomfortable and unhygienic for him and she ends up feeling like her child’s dignity does not matter.
She is amongst thousands of parents in Britain who insist that standard disabled toilets do not have proper amenities for all disabilities and earlier this year, the media described how many parents said they are made to put their disabled children on smelly toilet floors to change them.
Because of this, some of them only go out for a few hours at a time, while others feel a constant dread that their child will need the bathroom and their children themselves are being left greatly embarrassed, allegedly forced to either lie on a disgusting floor or remain in their own urine or excretions.
Ollie Carroll was born healthy but was later diagnosed with Batten disease, a genetic infirmity that leaves children with a life prospect of between 6 and 12 years.
Sharing a photo of Ollie lying on a changing table in a public bathroom, his mum told it shows the struggle they battle every day when they are out and about and the changing table is significantly inadequate for a child of Ollie’s size.
Thankfully Ollie is not too heavy so his mother can still lift him but his sibling has to hold his head so his mother can change him, but each time she changes Ollie in a public area, she walks out hot, stressed and sometimes in tears, feeling like her child’s dignity does not mean anything.
Ollie is not really heavy but is quite long for his age so it is actually beginning to bother her how she will be able to change him in the future as he proceeds to develop and she has four children so they are continually out and about and on the go and if she cannot take Ollie to places this will affect the entire family.
Lucy told how she and her husband recently noticed that there weren’t many other children in wheelchairs in supermarkets, shopping centres and restaurants and because of this, she stated she had questioned other parents of disabled children why they no longer go to these everyday places and was appalled by their replies.
In this day and age, the United Kingdom has really restricted proper changing amenities for the disabled.
Learning that parents have had to change their children on the floors of public bathrooms, that parents have had to suspend what they are doing and go back to their vehicle or even all the way home to change their child because there were no amenities for them to be able to change their child.
It is tragic and sickening and she is aware that many places have amenities for the disabled but not enough as Lucy remembered a visit with her family to a major shopping centre. It does have one really good disabled changing facility furnished with an adult size changing table and hoist.
Whilst they were in a restaurant eating tea, as a family of six something that doesn’t occur often, Ollie required changing and immediately and those with children will know precisely what that means.
There was no way she could make the 15-minute hike to the only disabled changing facility in the building therefore resorted to the baby change. At first, her husband took Ollie but several minutes later returned carrying Ollie, the baby change was located inside the female toilets.
She explained how she then had to hoist her son onto a tiny changing table, before changing him as his sibling held his head and it is no wonder that this situation is one of the reasons families feel they can not go out and do normal everyday family outings.
Before Ollie and Amelia became sick this never even registered in her head but now it has become part of a daily struggle.
The United Kingdom defines itself as being inclusive but if families feel they can’t take their children out even to everyday places how can this be the case? And Lucy has no idea how to improve this but it must change immediately, after all, would you lie down on the floor of a public toilet?
Sam Buck, from West Sussex, explained how she was frequently made to drag her son, Alfie, from his wheelchair onto soiled toilet floors to change him. At 10 years old, she said her child, who has severe cerebral palsy, was too big to fit on the baby changing units in standard disabled restrooms.
She stated that, because he cannot talk, he had used eye-pointing and picture cards to tell her he doesn’t want to be changed on the floor anymore. He would rather remain in his own poo for six hours than lie there stated Sam, who can no longer hoist her son out of his wheelchair without support.
Another mother, Laura Moore, spoke of her eight-year-old son, William, who has quadriplegic cerebral palsy and he ends up lying on the toilet floor. The floor which may have urine or worse on it, the floor where people have walked in their soiled footwear.
The very floor most of us wouldn’t even put our handbags on, that’s why toilet doors have a hook on the back but this is the very floor that her beloved boy has to lie on and she has to kneel on to clean and dress him.
Grim doesn’t even come close.
Some parents maintained they couldn’t even fit their children’s wheelchairs into standard disabled toilets due to a shortage of space
and adequate disabled bathrooms should be available in all town centres and large public places, such as multiplexes and shopping centres.
These amenities give height-adjustable, adult-sized changing tables, hoist systems, and adequate space for disabled users and up to two carers and a number of petitions have been set up to get Changing Places amenities installed in disabled toilets across the United Kingdom.
Disabled people have as much right as everybody else to be able to access the outside world and due to treatment, they travel to London every two weeks with Ollie and Amelia. This is a two-hour train ride which has no changing amenities for a child of Ollie’s size.
They have to change Ollie in his buggy which is not only difficult for them but also really uncomfortable and unclean for Ollie and the disabled are treated like second-class citizens in the United Kingdom.