Katrina Dorrian by Katrina Dorrian Additional Needs

Katrina Dorrian

Katrina Dorrian

Hi! I'm Katrina, I have 8yr old triplets; one who has spina bifida, hydrocephalus and epilepsy. I also have MS, so we've a busy (but happy) house!


We sold our last house when our triplets were little over a year old.

They say moving house is one of the most stressful things you can do...I doubt they factor in triplets to that saying, especially one with additional needs when you yourself have a serious neurological condition (Multiple Sclerosis).

We moved because our now six year old son was in need of a house that would accommodate a wheelchair, standing frame, hoist and any other equipment he would eventually need.

We have been through four and a half years of negotiating to get plans finalised and agreed then signed off on etc.

We’ve compromised in that we have a two storey house with a double garage that was fit to be adapted.

Those works finally began before Christmas in 2020 and are due to be finished in a few weeks, much to our amazement.

So what does this mean to our family?

Well! For one, we have a permanent ramp to our front door that is the right gradient for our son to go down AND up himself!

See the top photo and the joy on Jacob’s face!

It is amazing to see as we’ve been using a temporary steel ramp for our two step access while we waited for these works.

Jacob also now has a bedroom downstairs that will have a fully working hoist, toilet, changing bench and shower.

He might not be moving downstairs for some time yet to sleep overnight but he will certainly be utilising that space for his physio, changes, bathing etc.

It has a storage room to the side and we really can’t explain how welcome that is when he is a child with high physical needs and a lot of bulky equipment that isn’t the easiest to store.

He has direct access to his room from outside which is going to be invaluable to him (and a terror to us) in his teenage years!

As Jacob has epilepsy, the chances are my husband and I will move downstairs at some point to help keep Jacob safe, but we’ll do whatever works for our family.

As I also have MS it isn’t out of the question I will also be a wheelchair user at some point so we need to be mindful of that.

Thankfully, we were able to buy a house that should accommodate our needs for years to come, if not forever, although my husband is convinced we’ll move to the country one day!

In the meantime, we are totally in love with the new freedom these changes have given our son at a time when he really needs to know doing things himself IS possible with a few changes.

We also have a new car (read my other blog about that if you’re bored!) so things are starting to get easier in terms of physical lifting etc which is hugely needed with a strapping six year old!

He’s also a typical six year old in terms of emotional control (or lack of) so we’ve had the doors widened to accommodate his speedy manoeuvres around the house!

I’m looking forward to many years of enjoyment from the changes that are being done by these excellent builders and tradesmen.

I hope they see the difference it is making to our lives and see the joy on our son’s face as he whizzes down the ramp (albeit MUCH too fast!).


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