Omar Haddara is doted on by his five older siblings, but no one does more for him than his mum Ida.
The Truganina mother grapples with the usual demands of a family, as well as eight-year-old Omar’s special needs.
He was born with spastic quadriplegia and cerebral palsy, depends on an oxygen tank and suffers from vision impairment, intellectual disabilities and chronic lung disease.
“He’s a joyful boy, who smiles and giggles all the time, even when he becomes ill,” Mrs Haddara said.
“He’s a tall boy, weighs 26 kilograms and continues to grow, which makes his care increasingly hard to manage.
“He’s completely dependent on me for feeding, toileting, mobility, dressing and showering.
“We continuously adapt our home and family life to better manage his needs and give him the best quality of life.”
The family is in desperate need of a wheelchair-accessible van to transport Omar and is hoping the community can help raise the $60,000 needed to modify a van to his needs.
Currently, Omar is lifted in and out of the car by one of his parents and is unable to have his wheelchair with him on outings because it takes up so much space that no one else can fit in the car.
“[It] will enable Omar to attend critical medical appointments, give him greater access to the community to prevent social isolation and give us a chance to go out all together like other families,” Mrs Haddara said.
She said she had applied to various groups to help buy the vehicle but had been told they “no longer assist” with this type of funding.
Victoria’s statewide equipment program, funded by the Department of Human Services, will pay a maximum of $2000 for modifications but only after the vehicle has been bought.
“It’s sad to know there’s not much help and that parents like us are doing it tough,” Mrs Haddara said. “We’re working as hard as we can, but it’s a huge amount of money and I worry that without this necessary vehicle to transport him, the strain will affect the whole family.”
More than $11,000 has been raised for Omar so far.
Help the Omar and his family
To help the family visit www.peoplepledge.com.au/b/omarhaddara.