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Family launches £33k appeal for disabled Holloway tot’s silicon arms

PUBLISHED: 07:01 16 September 2011 | UPDATED: 09:10 16 September 2011

Donna Padfield and daughter Poppy Pickford at home in Holloway

Donna Padfield and daughter Poppy Pickford at home in Holloway

Dieter Perry

»A disabled toddler has been refused financial help from the NHS for silicon prosthetic limbs until she is aged 18.

One-year-old Poppy Pickford, of Surr Close, Holloway, who has a severely shortened right arm, requires flexible silicon limbs.

Her mum Donna Padfield, 26, said the velcro-strap and bandage PVC ones provided by the NHS fall off easily and give the appearance that her arm is broken.

But she said Islington Primary Care Trust (PCT) told her it is not “cost-effective” to pay for silicon arms until Poppy is 18 because they need replacing regularly as the body grows.

Miss Padfield continued: “I am absolutely furious with the PCT. It is age discrimination. I just want her to have a choice and know what it is like to live with an arm. Poppy gets frustrated when she can’t do certain things which can be heartbreaking.”

Miss Padfield says trying to secure funds for the silicon arms has been a “pointless waste of time”.

Disadvantaged

The PCT has referred the family to Great Ormond Street Hospital and then clinics in Roehampton and now Harold Wood. The family now wants to raise more than £30,000 to pay for five silicon limbs from a private healthcare company Dorset Orthopaedic.

David Hills, of Dorset Orthopaedic, said: “Poppy’s parents do not wish for their daughter to be disadvantaged. Children born without an upper limb adapt better throughout life, the earlier they start using one. Poppy has been unable to obtain acceptable prosthesics from the NHS because the materials they use are rigid and uncomfortable.”

A spokesman for Islington PCT said: “Our priority is to ensure Poppy receives the most appropriate NHS care and treatment. Her progress has not been compromised by the non-availability of components within the NHS.

“We have offered to Poppy’s family an appointment at the specialist Disablement Services Centre at Harold Wood which will make a clinical assessment of her needs.”

Poppy’s family is inviting businesses to donate prizes for a large raffle and aims to stage a fundraising event.

To support Poppy contact a.helping.hand.for.poppy@hotmail.co.uk


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