Grocery shopping with children is a chore on its own, but for parents of children with disabilities, a quick run to the store can feel like climbing a mountain. That's why on grocery store decided to help out the mother of a disabled 6-year-old.
Gina Grant of Letterkenny, Ireland, has been struggling through her weekly trip to the grocery store with her son, 6-year-old Francis, who suffers from mitochondrial disease, rendering him unable to walk or move.
“Shopping for us is very, very stressful,” Gina told BelfastLive. “Ordinarily I have to put my son in the back of the (cart) along with the food, which he finds incredibly stressful.
"When we get to the (cashier) I would have to lay him down beside them to pack the bags. Sometimes I push his wheelchair while carrying several baskets on each arm.”
Grant added that she would occasionally have to simply leave her sleeping son in the car in the care of his older brother. She would race to complete her shopping in 10 minutes.
Her experiences were so stressful that she asked the manager of a Dunnes Stores, a retail chain, to look into grocery carts designed for larger disabled children.
“I never expected anything to come of it, to be honest,” she said.
“When I went in on Friday I was expecting to have to do the same thing, for it to be stressful," she continued. "Then one of the staff came over to me and Francis and said they had our (grocery cart). They brought it over and it had a special padded seat, head support, safety harnesses, the works!
"If I had of won the lottery, I couldn't have been happier. It was amazing, I haven't stopped smiling since. It was a wonderful thing to do.”
(Gina Grant with Francis in specialized grocery cart. Photo Credit: Gina Grant/Twitter)
The cart is reportedly available for anyone who needs it. Grant posted on her Twitter account that she was “over the moon” that the grocery cart is available and encouraged other to ask about it.
“It was a pleasure to shop, for once,” Grant told Belfast Live. “When you have a child with disabilities it takes the normality away and things are harder.
"I couldn't believe that I could walk around the store at leisure, look at products, talk to people I met and Francis was happy and comfortable in his seat. He loved it.”
Dunnes Stores plans on putting 155 specialized grocery carts in its stores in Ireland.
Photo credit: Gina Grant/Twitter