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RAF Benevolent Fund help RAF family to transform garden into safe haven for their son

The Blair family in their transformed gardenSgt Darryl Blair and his wife Sue are just one of many RAF families who have been supported by our charity. We recently provided them with a grant to renovate their garden for their three-year-old son Ryan, who was born with Down's Syndrome.

After his birth, Ryan was diagnosed with breathing problems and required oxygen to be administered 24/7. 

After numerous hospital tests it was revealed that Ryan had Obstructive Sleep Apnoea which would cause him to stop breathing when he was sleeping.

Ryan now sleeps with special equipment which not only aids his breathing but alerts his parents if his oxygen levels fall below a certain level.

The stress on Sgt Blair and Sue has been enormous and as they are not eligible for respite care, they wanted to give Ryan an outdoor space that he could safely play in unsupervised.

The family's back garden was unsafe for Ryan to play in with uneven ground. The grant from the Benevolent Fund has enabled them to create a garden with different surfaces including grass, decking and a path.

Sgt Blair, a logistics supplier, said: "The garden has made the world of difference to us. Ryan can now play outside with his toys and explore different textures, which is really important for his development.

"Sue and I do not qualify for respite care and although we both love and adore Ryan, he can be quite demanding. Having this garden means that we can sit and relax in the conservatory, leaving Ryan on the grass knowing that he is totally safe.

"Before this he was stuck in the house every day but now we can't get him to come in!"

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