Mum of brave Leeds boy with cerebral palsy 'blown away' after strangers raise £2k for life-changing car seat

The mum of a Leeds boy with cerebral palsy has been "blown away" by the generosity of strangers, who donated thousands to his family's desperate appeal for help.
Five-year-old Phoenix Milner pictured with dad Ben, 31, and mum Lora Bedford, 30Five-year-old Phoenix Milner pictured with dad Ben, 31, and mum Lora Bedford, 30
Five-year-old Phoenix Milner pictured with dad Ben, 31, and mum Lora Bedford, 30

Phoenix Milner, five, was left with irreversible brain damage and cerebral palsy after he was born prematurely.

His mum Lora Bedford, 30, was told by doctors in summer that it wouldn't be safe for him to travel in a car once he outgrows his existing car seat.

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Faced with a £2,000 cost for a new specialist car seat, the family feared Phoenix would be trapped inside, unable to attend school or visit his friends after lockdown.

The family has been "blown away" by the generosity of strangersThe family has been "blown away" by the generosity of strangers
The family has been "blown away" by the generosity of strangers

A family friend set up a Go Fund Me appeal last week which, to the amazement of Lora, raised the full cost in just four days.

Lora, who lives in Woodlesford, said: "I’m just blown away by the support, I’m so thankful that people have thought about us.

"The response I’ve got has been incredible. So many people have been happy to help and to do something for Phoenix, as a lot of people know him in the community.

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“It genuinely means so much to us, from the bottom of our hearts.”

Phoenix attends Oulton Primary School and without the car seat he would have been unable to go to school or attend vital physio appointments.

"We don’t live near a lot of his friends, so it means he can still go out and socialise when restrictions are lifted", Lora added.

“He’s a really cheeky, lovable little thing. He just likes to make people laugh and he loves an audience!

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“The car seat means he can do everything that makes his life fulfilled and makes him happy."

The Go Fund Me appeal was set up by family friend Claire Wray, who spotted a heartbreaking Facebook post by Lora's mum who desperately wanted the car seat for her grandson.

Claire, 31, said: “Lora's mum said if she could have anything in the world, it would be a car seat for her grandson but she couldn’t afford the £2,000. That really brought it home.

"I’m a childminder and I’ve got two children on my own - only last week I went and bought new car seats for about £50 each.

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“But the family can’t just go to Halfords and buy the seat, it was really sad.

“I thought my close friends and family would donate, but there were people I’ve never spoken to donating and sharing the story.

“I don’t know if people are normally that generous or whether it’s the time of year, or Covid, but the story must have hit home.”

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