Mango and her family enjoy festive season in their new home
Although Mango Omar’s family doesn’t celebrate Christmas, the six-year-old still enjoyed a full calendar of festive events at her Leicester school.
“She even had a new dress to wear for the school activities, including a sing-a-long which she enjoys,” said her mum Faisa Ali. “Her new dress is red so was very appropriate for the occasion.”
The Omar family moved into their new home at Wolsey Island, Leicesterin May. The three bedroomed house had been fully adapted to provide the facilities needed to cater for the needs of Mango, who has cerebral palsy and epilepsy and uses an electric wheelchair.
“We’d never had an adapted home before and it changed our lives within 10 minutes of moving in,” added mum-of-three Faisa. “Now I look back and wonder how we managed at our old homes in London and Leicester. It was hell for six years.
“My daughter has profound disabilities and is big for her age so it was very difficult living in our previous rented accommodation which wasn’t at all suitable for her needs, or those of our family.
“Mango has a hospital bed which helps us to care for her but we had to put it in the living room at our previous privately rented house in Leicester because she was too heavy to carry up and down stairs safely. This was hard for everyone as when we went upstairs to bed she was downstairs, separate from her family. Mango had no space of her own either. I used to screen an area off so she had a little privacy for her personal care and getting dressed, but it was difficult when she had one-to-one carer sessions and physiotherapy, or when the paramedics needed to treat her.
Faisa, her husband Abdullahi Omar, Mango and their two younger sons were among the first tenants to move into newly-completed affordable houses on the attractive canal-side development built in partnership with Westleigh Partnerships Ltd.
The house has wider doorways for wheelchair access to all rooms and the garden, wet room with shower, adjustable height kitchen worktops, cooker hob and sink, electric wheelchair charging point, and covered parking and walkway to the front door. Meanwhile, a lift with wheel-in, wheel-out access for a wheelchair has revolutionised daily life.
“Mango now has her own bedroom upstairs where she has privacy for her personal care and chat-and-play sessions with her carer. The physiotherapist and paramedics have space to do their work, while her little brothers can use the living room to play,” explained Faisa.
“Best of all, there’s a lift which takes her up and down stairs in her wheelchair at the touch of a button. Mango loves riding in it and it has made our lives so much easier.
“Everything, such as getting Mango ready for school in the morning, used to take so long, now it seems so quick. Her allergies have cleared up and she’s had very few seizures at night since moving here.It’s so peaceful, she doesn’t keep waking up.
“I look back and wonder ‘how did we do this before’? “