A CHARITY has launched an appeal to help a teenage who can't stand, walk, talk or speak.

Iona Turner, 16, has cerebral palsy and is completely reliant on others for her care.

She is even incapable of changing her position on her own to prevent pain.

Iona is now too big to lift, so she can never be far from the family home in Creech St Michael.

Disabled children's charity Newlife is urgently calling on the local community to help fund a mobile hoist to give her the freedom to leave home for more than just a few hours.

Iona's life currently revolves around the family kitchen, her bedroom and bathroom in the house she lives in with parents Alison and Mike and siblings Leilani, 18, Cerys, 13, and Sam, 10.

She is moved with a ceiling hoist at home, but she cannot access the rest of the house or go outside for long unless the family can get a mobile hoist to move her safely in and out of her wheelchair.

Newlife is hoping to raise £675 for a specialist hoist to help transform the lives of Iona and her family.

Alison said: "Without a mobile hoist Iona and the rest of the family have no choice but to miss out on a lot.

"Enjoying anything with all of us together, such as a day out, going to visit family or a holiday is very hard.

"Iona can only communicate through smiling, crying, laughing and noises, but we know she’s often in pain and moving her position regularly is vital to prevent this, especially as she’s developed a curve in her spine.

"But we find it hard to do this without a hoist, so we can’t do it unless we’re at home.

"Going out for longer than a few hours also means we can’t transfer Iona from her wheelchair to attend to her personal needs, as bathrooms with hoists or adult changing facilities are few and far between. We can’t stay anywhere else overnight either."

Alison added: "As a family we generally have a really positive attitude to life but things are increasingly difficult.

"A portable hoist is the solution to a lot of the current problems and would make life so much easier.

"It would allow Iona the freedom she desperately needs to experience more in life and we could do so much more together as a family.

"We could even take Iona to visit my dad in Wales, who is unable to walk far after a stroke and can’t drive.

"There’s no way to move her from her wheelchair when we are there, but if we had a hoist it would be easier to stay overnight and for longer periods."

Newlife senior manager for care services Carrick Brown said a mobile hoist would provide Iona with a safe and dignified way to be moved without risk.

It would also help reduce Iona’s pain and allow her the freedom most of us take for granted.

Carrick added: "Unfortunately, as much as we want to help Iona and her family, we simply don’t have the funds to buy the equipment right now.

"We are desperately appealing to the local community for help to raise the money so Iona can have the specialist hoist she urgently needs."

Anyone able to help Iona should contact Newlife on 01543-431444, click here or e-mail local@newlifecharity.co.uk

Alternatively, text NEWLIFE IONA to 70500 to give £10 to Iona’s appeal - texts cost £10 plus one message at your standard network rate. Always get the bill payer's permission.