Meet Lomani ONE IN A MILLION – DOUBLE EXCEPTIONAL

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Lomani is a 3-year-old with a severely compromised life as a result of an acquired brain injury, with no prospect of a recovery. She has a complex medical diagnosis with underlying hydrocephalus (otherwise known as fluid on the brain) caused by damage during her birth which has resulted in two permanent brain shunts to continuously drain fluid from her brain and complications including autism spectrum disorder, sensory deficiencies, seizures and mild cerebral palsy. There is no cure for hydrocephalus, only management through further brain surgeries, of which she has already had three. Lomani lives on Bribie Island with her mum, Anna.

Lomani requires 24/7 care and almost every day is occupied by therapies including physio, occupational, behavioural psychological, paediatric and aqua to name a few. In addition, she has general medical visits, radiology and neurosurgical treatments. Lomani also undertakes complementary therapies, including equine and canine and has been assessed as an eligible candidate for a ‘Smart Pup’ Assistance Dog (see www. smartpups.org.au) to assist with her autism and regular seizures.

‘Smart Pups’ Assistance Dogs are individually trained to provide assistance to a special needs child. Most people are familiar with guide dogs for the blind, helping people with vision impairment. ‘Smart Pups’ have special ‘task specific’ training so they can assist a young person, from the age of three years and up, with handling day-to-day routines and events. ‘Smart Pups’ give children confidence with emotional and physical support.

A campaign is underway to raise the $20,000 required for a ‘Smart Pup’, but there is a long way to go. Once the $20,000 is raised, it will then take up to two years to train a ‘Smart Pup’ to specifically suit Lomani’s special needs. So, at the earliest Lomani will be five years old before she gets her dog.

This is where Lomani needs your help. Your tax-deductible donation of as little or as much as you can spare will help fast track the process.

Simply put, the sooner the $20,000 is raised, the sooner Lomani will get her dog. To donate please go to: www. smartpups.org.au/campaigns/ smart-pup-for-lomani-159217 Spearheading the campaign to help secure a Smart Pup for Lomani and take on the day-to-day logistics of running the campaign is the Sandstone Point Lions Club.

According to Sandstone Point Lions Club’s campaign manager, Gay Power, “Both the club and I, couldn’t be more enthusiastic about taking on the role of raising this money for Lomani. Over the past few weeks, I have come to know them quite well and realise what special people they both are. They are deserving of all the financial, physical and emotional help we can provide. In fact, Sandstone Point Lions Club has pledged $2,000 towards Lomani’s Smart Pup and are throwing the challenge to all other organisations and service clubs on the island to do the same.”

Lomani has been assessed as ‘twice exceptional’ (exceptional special needs and exceptionally intelligent). Gay said “Her intellect is way beyond her years – staggering even. She’s even helping to raise the money herself by tiedyeing tee-shirts to sell. If you want one just let me know!”

A BIT ABOUT MUM (ANNA): Lomani’s mum was forced to give up her career as a Logistics Specialist to become Lomani’s full-time carer. She is supported by her mother (Lomani’s grandmother) as Lomani’s needs are so great. Anna worked for 14 years in the Ministry of Defence in the UK and served as one of very few civilians in the Falkland Islands, Somalia and Bosnia war zones and was decorated for her service. She migrated to Australia to advance her career in the mining industry. Her days, weeks, months are consumed with Lomani’s needs. If it’s not taking Lomani to medical therapy or an appointment, she is providing ‘nice’ experiences for Lomani, like going to the beach, the park or the zoo after traumatic appointments, just so Lomani can associate her treatments with a ‘nice experience’. Anna has her own home which, whilst laudable under her circumstances, places additional burdens on her with mortgage repayments, maintenance etc.

PLEASE, IF YOU CAN HELP, DIG DEEP! YOUR TAX-DEDUCTIBLE DONATION CAN MAKE A WORLD OF DIFFERENCE TO HELP LOMANI GET HER ‘SMART PUP’ SOONER, RATHER THAN LATER!

Go to: www.smartpups.org. au/campaigns/smart-pup-forlomani-159217 PSST! Lomani is unaware that there is a campaign underway to get her a ‘Smart Pup’, so if you see her out and about with her mum, please don’t mention the dog. Two years of waiting, in the life of a three-year-old, is beyond comprehension.

For more information or obtain a direct link to Lomani’s donation page on the ‘Smart Pup’ website, please contact: GAY POWER M: 0414 233 566 E: gay@coastalinspirations.com.au