There is a wonderful article in The Argus by Adrian Imms about one of the young people we support, Luke, and the wonderful gift he and his family have been given this Christmas.

The Argus Appeal teamed up with the Rockinghorse charity to give severely disabled Luke Godfrey eye-tracking software that allows him to communicate with those around him.

His mother, Jane Godfrey, 48, of Carden Hill, Brighton, said the gift would be life changing and one she could never have even dreamed of.

(Pictured Dr Naz Khan, Jane Godfrey, chairwoman of The Argus Appeal Dawn Sweeney and Ryan Heal of Rockinghorse with Luke)

She said: “It’s going to completely open a world for Luke that was previously closed to him. This will be the first time he can have a conversation with me.”

Luke suffers from microgyria, a rare genetic condition from birth, which has left him with quadriplegic cerebral palsy. The youngster also suffers from epilepsy and cannot vocalise, having to use eye contact and facial expressions to get by. But now the donated Eye Gaze system by Smart Box, worth more than £6,000, will “open Luke up”, according to Ms Godfrey.

She said: “It was just unbelievable when we found out the money had been raised.

“I cannot express enough the immense life-changing effect this will have for him.

“It’s a gift I would never ever have dreamed of for Luke.”

The piece of kit works by firing a laser into Luke’s pupils 60 times a second. His eye movement will be translated into a dot on a TV screen which shows where he is looking.

Users can “click” by blinking, staring at the screen for a certain length of time or using a switch.

It was using the Eye Gaze that alerted people to his love of cars, revealing he was focusing on a car while watching a film rather than those dancing around it, leading to Luke being able to communicate with strangers for the first time.

Ms Godfrey said: “Although I can understand Luke, he must live in a closed world.

“This gives Luke a voice and the ability to have some independence. He has never learnt to read or write so the options are limitless.”

Previously a legal secretary, Ms Godfrey gave up work when Luke was born and became his full-time carer.

The Argus Appeal has helped the family before, funding a trip to Disneyland Paris.

During an evening event attended by members of The Argus Appeal and Rockinghorse last year, a plan was hatched to get Luke the Eye Gaze software.

Ms Godfrey said: “As a mother, I find it very emotional and touching that people that night got together and decided to do this. I think it will make him happy and give him a sense of empowerment because he will be in control for the first time.”

Ryan Heal, of Rockinghorse, said: “Rockinghorse is delighted to be supporting The Argus Appeal in this incredible project. Our two charities often work together with the common goal of bettering the lives of others. This represents another example of that goal being realised.”

Dr Naz Khan has known Luke his whole life and witnessed the dedication of his mother.

He said: “Communication with someone with the disabilities that Luke has may appear to be difficult but he is bright and clearly understands his surroundings and is able to display his emotions to those around him.”

“The generous gift of the new computer, which will enhance his communication and enjoyment, shows how communities can get together to support and help those less able and vulnerable, which is so special, particularly at this time of year.”

Dawn Sweeney, managing director of The Argus and chairwoman of The Argus Appeal, said: “We are so delighted to know our help will offer Luke the life-changing ability to communicate with his mother and others around him.

“The Argus Appeal helps many people every year but it is cases like this which really bring home how important it is to support people and their families in our community.

“What a fantastic present for Christmas and I would like to thank our readers and supporters of The Argus Appeal who have helped to make this happen.”

This story has made our festive season and has started 2015 off on a great note for all of us here at HomeCareDirect, we are proud and pleased to support Luke and Ms Godfrey and can’t wait to hear more about how this great communication aid has helped improve their lives.