A better life for Guilherme

by SOPHIE MCCARRICK [email protected]

Four-year old Guilherme Sequeira was born with the umbilical cord around his neck, which staved his brain of oxygen and caused damage to many brain cells.

As a result, he has suffered with hypoxic-ischemic (neurologic disability), nystagmus (involuntary eye movement), myopia and strabismus, and thinning of the corpus callosum (area in the brain that facilitates interhemispheric communication).

Living with these disorders means that he is unable to attain correct development for his age, disabling him physically. Guilherme has restricted mobility and only at the age of three became aware of slight movements he could make with his body.

Bruno Sequeira, Guilherme’s father, told the Algarve Resident: “His speech is very limited and as parents we find it difficult catering to his needs as he cannot communicate with us.”

Without the use of glasses, Guilherme’s eyesight is extremely restricted and due to his nystagmus “he doesn’t see the world like the rest of us”, said Bruno.

Bruno says: “My wife and I have tried everything here in Portugal to treat out son, but there is nothing that can help him.”

After advice from one of Guilherme’s therapists in the Algarve, Bruno began research on treatments available in America, where it was revealed that what Guilherme required was hyperbaric treatment, the medical use of oxygen at a level higher than atmospheric pressure, which will help to repair damaged cells.

It was then that parents Bruno and Marta made the decision to begin fundraising in order to get the treatment that their son required.

In total, Guilherme will need €25,000 to ensure all treatments and to cover living costs during his stay. Around €4,000 is still desperately needed.

Treatment in America will be performed for six hours a day for five to six weeks, dependant on Guilherme’s progress, at the Therapies4Kids clinic in Florida.

The Ronald McDonald Foundation will provide accommodation for the family for the duration of Guilherme’s treatment.

ACCA, the association that supports children in need throughout the Algarve, will also be helping.

The family travelled to America yesterday (Thursday). After Guilherme’s initial treatment, he will then require a series of additional treatments, aftercare and support, for which additional donations are needed.

“Thank you to everyone who has been supportive and helped us,” concluded Bruno.

For more information about Guilherme or to support his cause, please contact Bruno or Marta Sequeira on 914 304 028 or email [email protected]. Alternatively, email ACCA on [email protected]