Billy Watkins is 14 years old and is in need of our help. When he was 2 days old, he was diagnosed with hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy (HIE) and hypertonia.  HIE is a condition that results from a lack of oxygen to the brain. As a result, he has a seizure disorder, developmental delay and chronic respiratory failure. He also has spastic hypertonia which causes him to have uncontrollable muscle spasms, and stiffening or straightening out of muscles. He has a tracheotomy (breathing tube) and is on a ventilator at all times. He also has muscle contractures and scoliosis. He is unable to move on his own and needs a wheelchair to get around.
 
Billy sees many specialists in Philadelphia and needs to have reliable transportation to and from the city. His parents have a 2000 Oldsmobile Silhouette van that needs a lot of repair. This van was fine for when Billy was smaller, but now he is bigger and they need a van which can hold Billy's wheelchair along with all the equipment (ventilator, suction machine, pulse ox machine and feeding pump). Billy's father is the only one who can lift him in and out of the van. But as Billy grows, this has become more difficult, especially as Billy's father recently had surgery on his leg and can't lift Billy in and out of the van. Life would be so much safer for Billy and his family if his wheelchair could be rolled into the van and tied down.
 
One of Billy's greatest pleasures in life is going on outings with his family. Billy enjoys watching his little brother, Ben, play sports and participate in Cub Scouts. Billy also likes to visit his extended family and go to the park and to the movies. However, because it is so difficult to transport Billy, he often has to stay home with one of his parents while the other goes out with Ben. Having an accessible van would allow Billy to participate in more activities, be part of the family and have a better quality of life. Some times they can get Billy a ride to the doctors but not family events. 
 
The Warminster Rotary Club and Foundation is hosting a bowling event fundraiser for Billy and his family at the Warminster Thunderbird Lanes on Saturday, May 7, 2016. All proceeds will go towards making the Watkins Family's goal of purchasing a handicap accessible van for Billy a reality.
 
Please see the flyer below or contact Rotarian Joe Witiw at joewitiw@comcast.net for more information.