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IRO helps create 'mini intensive care unit' pod

IRO were proud to partner with Carbon Dynamic to supply the Mitchell family with a ‘care cabin’, enabling them to stay at home and avoid the stress of travelling to hospital with their terminally ill son, Reece.

The project came about following an appeal for help from Reece’s mother, Donna, who reached out to local companies for support. The bespoke pod was to act as an appropriate care and respite space, in which Reece could continue to receive the care he needs at home.

Six-year-old Reece Mitchell, from Inverness, was diagnosed with a rare case of Batten disease, possibly the only case in the Highlands of Scotland.

Batten disease is a neurogenerative condition and there is currently no cure for the disease and therefore specialist symptom management and therapy are essential to assist in maintaining a good quality of life for children and their families.

Donna knew that their family home would soon not be suitable for Reece’s ongoing care. The need for an easily accessible space, which offered plenty of room to care for Reece and hold all of his belongings, became increasingly apparent.

Donna said: “It started as a pipe dream at first about having a purpose-built pod in the garden to care for Reece. I went on the internet and contacted lots of companies and the only one who came back to me was Carbon Dynamic in Invergordon.

“Matt from Carbon Dynamic came out and drew up plans for a cabin connecting onto the house - and he designed it to take into account all the specialist equipment that we need.”

Matt Stevenson, director at Carbon Dynamic, commented: “.”

Carbon Dynamic design and manufacture timber modular buildings using locally sourced and sustainable materials. The company's director, Matt, said: "Donna contacted us, and we were eager to get involved. This project had a purpose and that was to help Reece.

“When designing the pod, we looked at all the different design aspects and wanted to source a material that was high quality, low maintenance and easy to maintain but also striking. IRO Timber was the perfect product for the job.”

Carbon Dynamic then contacted IRO Timber to ask if they could collaborate and contribute in any way possible to this worthy project, with IRO supplying some material free of charge.

James Brennan, marketing manager at IRO Timber, said: “This is a heart-warming project that was brilliant to be involved in. We're so happy we could do something to help to such a brave and deserving young boy and his family."

Using IRO in build projects offers an added level of protection via its different surface treatments, and also aids the finished look with a beautiful enhanced grain appearance.

James added: "We're delighted that IRO could be used for this pod and bring some joy and support to a local family.”

The pod was delivered in February and has enabled the family to stay in their home area, surrounded by friends in as comfortable an environment as possible.

Donna said: “As Reece’s mum my biggest fear is that I don’t want Reece to die in hospital. I want him to be at home where he should be.

“With the help of Highland Hospice and the community nurses, it means I will be able to care for Reece at home.”

The family hope that the care cabin, which has a shelf life of up to 100 years, could be used by others in the future; offering an opportunity to other families, like the Mitchells, to provide the most comfortable environment for a loved one at home and avoid lengthy commutes to hopsital.

If you would like to find out more about Batten disease or how you can support those in need, please visit the Batten Disease Family Association (BDFA) at www.bdfa-uk.org.uk.

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