A little girl with a rare genetic disorder has found comfort in a specially made disco bathtub.
Ailey Wales, five, was born with Wolf-Hirschhorn Syndrome, which means she cannot communicate verbally, walk, or play with toys.
Ailey has cognitive delays which mean she doesn’t understand what toys are for and she also struggles to hold them.
Her mum, Shannon, 25, heard about sensory baths and though they could provide comfort for her daughter.
Unable to afford a special tub, the family began to fundraise, eventually raising £10,000 for renovations on the house.
On 20 September, the bathroom was installed and ready, complete with LED lighting inside the tub, disco lights on the ceiling, speakers, and soft jet sprays.
The entire downstairs bathroom is designed so Ailey can relax and splash around in a peaceful environment.
Shannon said: ‘Ailey doesn’t really understand what toys are for, so she just enjoys watching other people playing with them.
‘But the bath is her relaxing place – she loves bubbles, and hydrotherapy jets are good for her muscles.
‘We’ve got disco lights installed in the ceiling which synchronise with music, and there are LED lights in the bath.’
The bathtub cost £7,000 before additional costs of installation and delivery, a new toilet and flooring.
Shannon said: ‘We wouldn’t have managed it if we had to pay for it all.
‘We were thinking we would have to get a loan out, but no one wants to get into debt.
‘I wasn’t keen to ask people, but friends offered to help out.’
Thanks to the generosity of friends, the family were also able to have Ailey’s bathroom fitted on the ground floor and have a fire escape installed.
All of this has transformed not only Ailey’s life, but her parents’, too, who now find it easier to take care of their daughter.
Shannon said: ‘A lot of people who have helped us have joked that they can’t wait to come round and have a bath.
‘Everybody that meets Ailey, they just fall in love with her.
‘She communicates through her smile and her eyes.
‘You can see it when she smiles how happy she is.
‘But since getting the bath, she does not approve of her little brother being in the tub with her. She does not want to share, but he is intrigued by the lights.
‘We are extremely grateful to everyone, even strangers have donated.’
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