A single mum has launched a fundraising bid to help her son left brain damaged as a baby.
Lyndsay Goodwin, 34, of Golcar , told how son Zach, now 12, was left with severe health problems after being violently shaken at just four weeks old.
Zach was a victim of ‘shaken baby syndrome’ and suffered a traumatic brain injury.
He was left with severe learning difficulties, vision problems and mild cerebral palsy.
Lyndsay said Zach wasn’t expected to be able to walk or talk but he can do both and attends Longley special school in Lowerhouses .
Now Lyndsay wants to create Zach a ‘den’ – or sensory room – where he can continue his progress.
“Despite all his problems Zach is a happy boy – a bit hyper at times – but happy all the same,” said Lyndsay.
“Now I just want to make a better future for Zach and for him to achieve his potential and be as good as he can be.”
Lyndsay wants to convert a disused outhouse at the family’s home into a sensory room full of specialist equipment which will stimulate Zach’s brain and help him recover more function.
She has launched a Just Giving appeal to raise £4,000.
Lyndsay, who has another son Alex, 16, has never spoken publicly about what happened to Zach.
She says it has taken her all of the 12 years to come to terms with it and accept it. Now she hopes that by speaking out she can help other families.
“It’s still very much a taboo subject, perhaps because the perpetrator is often a close relative or friend,” said Lyndsay. “People think there is no support or help out there but there is.
“It’s taken me quite a long time to accept what happened. It’s not something you ever get over but I have become stronger.
“It’s not something you expect to happen to your family, it’s something you read about in a magazine or see on TV.”
A man was convicted of assaulting Zach but why he did it was never explained.
Lyndsay returned from a doctor’s appointment to find her son grey and limp. He started fitting and was rushed to Huddersfield Royal Infirmary.
Tests found bleeding behind his eyes and x-rays revealed several fractures. Zach’s tiny body was gripped so hard finger marks were left.
Zach was transferred to the intensive care unit at the Sheffield Children’s Hospital where he started his recovery.
Zach has cortical vision impairment which means while his eyes work fine the images can’t be processed properly by his brain. When he gets tired his vision gets worse.
Lyndsay said: “We can’t dwell on the past and ask why it happened to us. You can’t get into the mind of someone who could harm a tiny, defenceless baby.
“It’s a sad thing that’s happened but we are moving on. We have to do what’s best for Zach.”
Lyndsay, who says Alex is “brilliant” with his younger brother, hopes people will help create the extra space for Zach which he often needs to calm and relax him.
But Lyndsay, in touch with other families on social media, wants to help others too and share her experience.
To donate go to https://crowdfunding.justgiving.com/lyndsay-goodwin or to contact Lyndsay ring 07795 035933 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org