Archie is six and lives at home with his mum, Jo, dad Jamie, big brother Max and little sister Aubrey in Littlehampton, West Sussex.
Jo explains: “Archie was born with something called Group B Strep. It’s the most common infection in newborns and leads to meningitis, sepsis and pneumonia. It’s carried by the mother and I was undiagnosed and didn’t know I had it. So, when Archie was born, I haemorrhaged and I was really poorly.”
Archie’s first few months were constantly being in and out of the neonatal intensive care unit. “Then before he was two, we found out he wasn’t meeting milestones. He had an MRI and they found he had brain damage, like chicken pox all over his brain.
“As a result of the brain damage Archie now has a diagnosis of autism, learning disabilities, immune deficiency, sensory processing disorder and some issues with his bowels.”
Jo originally trained as a Special Educational Needs (SEN) teacher: “Things are flipped upside down, I thought I would be teaching by now and I don’t. I can’t work because I am Archie’s full time carer.”
How Family Fund helped
“We have applied to Family Fund four times now. The first time our washing machine packed up. Archie is doubly incontinent, so our washing machine is constantly working on rotation. We actually ended up getting a 9KG washing machine just so that it could support big loads. And I know it sounds odd, but it actually helps financially with a bigger washing machine because you use it less.
“Then our cooker packed in and Family Fund helped with that. The kids eat so much, it was really important for us to get a double oven. It came with a five year warranty as well, so gave us that peace of mind in case anything goes wrong.
“Family Fund also helped us get Archie a better mattress. The boys share a room but Archie doesn’t sleep at all. So most of the time either my husband or I end up in there with him trying to keep him calm. Having a double bed has really helped.”
“Then this year we received a grant for an iPad. It meant we could get special apps for Archie and school can send over links. Even though he wasn’t at school, he could participate. He’s a really visual person so we get specialist videos up on there for him.”
Archie’s big brother, Max, is one of the stars of our new TV ad with McCain.
Page last reviewed:
Donate to Family Fund
All proceeds given to Family Fund are used to help disabled and seriously ill children across the UK
The technical storage or access is strictly necessary for the legitimate purpose of enabling the use of a specific service explicitly requested by the subscriber or user, or for the sole purpose of carrying out the transmission of a communication over an electronic communications network.
The technical storage or access is necessary for the legitimate purpose of storing preferences that are not requested by the subscriber or user.
The technical storage or access that is used exclusively for statistical purposes.The technical storage or access that is used exclusively for anonymous statistical purposes. Without a subpoena, voluntary compliance on the part of your Internet Service Provider, or additional records from a third party, information stored or retrieved for this purpose alone cannot usually be used to identify you.
The technical storage or access is required to create user profiles to send advertising, or to track the user on a website or across several websites for similar marketing purposes.