A little ray of sunshine needs your help


Zachary, a little boy who lives in Rye, is almost four years old and has had a tough start to life. He suffered a brain injury at birth which has led to quadriplegia, cerebral palsy and epilepsy. He is a ray of sunshine who brightens up many people’s day with his smile and energy despite all that he has had to contend with.


Zachary loves to learn, has a wicked sense of humour and is very intelligent and has so much to say – but he cannot. His disabilities mean that he is non-verbal and has very limited use of his limbs making it a huge effort for him to try and get his point across. Despite all this he has a brilliant group of friends at Ferry Road Nursery who just accept him as he is and are true and kind friends. He is a popular little boy. Zachary’s parents Ellie and Tom and their families are determined to help give him the opportunity to speak and have found some incredible equipment that would give him this ability. After all, all children deserve to be able to speak and communicate their needs which most of us just take for granted.

Zachary has a younger brother, Devyn, who is twenty months old and his mum says that they are ‘besties’, Devyn going to get toys that Zachary can’t reach himself, for example. How wonderful it would be if they could learn to speak to each other: but for now they communicate really well without words.


This equipment is not available to Zachary on the NHS unfortunately, so his family are organising fundraising events and have set up a JustGiving Page.


Ellie explained, “The equipment that is needed is an eye gaze device complete with speech programmes and a stand for his wheelchair, so it can be taken around with him. If Zachary had this equipment he would be able to look at words and symbols on a screen and the computer speaks them for him. In time, he will learn to put whole sentences together and really communicate his needs or join in with conversation.


“There are no words to explain what a massive step this would be for him! We recently had a trial and despite it being a first attempt, Zachary was incredible and really understood what to do! The happiness on his face when he realised he was making it work was a very special moment. Imagine his joy at being able to learn to communicate with his friends and family, something we take for granted. We would appreciate any help, shares on Facebook or donations to help make this dream a reality for our very special boy.

“The JustGiving page has only been live for a few days and people have been very generous already.”


Ellie continues, “We are absolutely blown away by the huge amount of support we have already received: before any of our fundraising events have even taken place we Hursts would like to say the most enormous thank you to everyone who has shared or donated. You are all amazing. Together we will do this!”

Image Credits: Ellie Hurst , Ellie Hurst , Kt bruce .

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