Parents battle to get son Zac vital treatment

James Cox and Lauren Critchfield with their son Zac
James Cox and Lauren Critchfield with their son Zac

Parents of a severely disabled young boy say it is a ‘joke’ that he only receives one hour of physiotherapy every six to eight weeks.

Lauren Critchfield, 26, and James Cox, 30, of Stowmarket, said their two-year-old son Zac is being denied vital treatment.

Zac was born with multiple acyl-CoA dehydrogenase defiency (Madd), is visually impaired and suffers from severe brain damage.

Lauren said the average of eight hours a year of care he receives just isn’t enough.

She said: ““He usually gets 20 minutes of physio, 20 minutes of speech therapy and 20 minutes of occupational therapy all squeezed into one hour.

“Zac cannot talk and cannot see, the only way he can learn is through repetitive movement.

“When you work out how little treatment he gets it is a joke - what is the point of it?

“We have no problem with the physio or occupational therapist, they just don’t have the time to give him what he needs.”

The family currently fork out more than £450 every six weeks for additional private physio sessions. Lauren said Zac’s private physio said he needs a special Lycra suit to help him know where his limbs are and to help him to walk. But Lauren has faced confusion over how and who to apply for regarding the suit.

Lauren says more needs to be done for her son to help him gain some independence.

“They should put money into Zac’s care now rather than having to fork out more money on carers on the future. I think it’s a bit short sighted.”

Nic Smith-Howell, Assistant Director of Integrated Services for Children Young People and Families said: “The level of care given to any child is assessed on an individual basis and the appropriate level of care given.

“In this case Zac has complex needs which have been assessed and a highly qualified multi-disciplinary team of therapists offering speech, occupational health and physiotherapy, along with the Consultant Community Paediatrician work together to give a holistic approach to his care.

“As with any child, Zac’s case would be regularly assessed to make sure any therapy or equipment he needs is given as appropriate.”