Mother of disabled 13-year-old says: ‘Vaccine will let him experience life’

Donna Quinn with her son Logan at Craighalbert Centre, Cumbernauld (Robert Perry/PA)
Donna Quinn with her son Logan at Craighalbert Centre, Cumbernauld (Robert Perry/PA)
PA Wire

The mother of a profoundly disabled 13-year-old has said she “can’t make him bulletproof” but getting him vaccinated will let him “live and experience life”.

Donna Quinn’s son Logan has serious respiratory problems and a rare neurological condition. He is one of around 4,000 children in Scotland with neuro-disabilities and other conditions to be offered a Covid-19 vaccine under new guidance.

Earlier this month, the Scottish Government announced children aged 12-17 with certain conditions would be offered a Pfizer vaccine in line with recommendations from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation.

Donna Quinn said she has trusted medical professionals and science all her son\u2019s life (Robert Perry/PA)

Ms Quinn told the PA news agency: “We’ve done as much as we can, I can’t make him bulletproof, but I can just do as much as I can to move forward and start living again.

“He’s about to be 14 next week and I’ve had to have faith in science and medical experts for him to be alive today.

“I’ve nearly lost Logan on so many occasions. It was for him to live and experience life and be with friends and family.”

Ms Quinn, 48, from Kilsyth, said her son, who had his first dose last Wednesday, has a “very, very weak” chest and lungs and sleeps with a specialist breathing respirator machine at night.

Anne Kelly with her daughter Erin, 13 (left) and Donna Quinn with her son Logan (Robert Perry/PA)

Anne Kelly, the mother of 13-year-old Erin, who has epilepsy and cerebral palsy, added that she had been waiting for the clinical advice to recommend vulnerable children for inoculation.

She told PA: “It was so that we’re kind of protecting the kids at the school, she wants to be around her friends. It was always going to be done if there was the option of getting it done.

“The first lockdown was horrible, the wee soul’s life just got turned upside down… she needs that routine.”

Both children attend the specialist Craighalbert Centre in Cumbernauld, North Lanarkshire, which provides expert integrated therapy and education for children with neurological conditions.

It stayed open three days per week during the lockdowns last year, with group leader Alison Phillips saying the vaccination development is “a welcome step”.

She added: “Everything we do is focused on promoting children’s wellbeing. We’ve had all staff double vaccinated, and we encouraged parents to do so as well.

“Parents and staff testing are also doing twice-weekly testing and we have a lot of safeguards in place.”

Ms Quinn added that support services she had relied on had been stripped back during the pandemic and that she had had to limit the number of carers coming into the home as she and Logan were shielding.

She added: “It would be very difficult to go through another winter like last year, where we didn’t see family, friends, and he wasn’t at school.

“I’m a single parent too, I was really worried that if I got ill, then who would be there to look after him?

“My parents are in their 80s and a bit poorly at the moment so we need to be safe for them as well as want to be around them as much as we can.

“I can only do what we can to keep him away from coughs and colds but I also have to be realistic. I can’t protect him from everything.

“It just makes more sense for him to be around people and have fun.”

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