Family pumped up to feel the heat
When the winter arrives, Nick Beldham is a prisoner in his own home.
Because of ongoing health problems caused by a brain tumour, the 20-year-old is confined to two rooms in his parents' house.
"When it's cold I suffer quite a lot with my health. I basically live in the dining room and sunroom," Nick said.
He lives with his parents Rob and Pauline Beldham in a 102-year-old villa in Somerfield. Pauline did not want to complain about the cold as there were people far worse off in the city.
"[But] the house has got high ceilings and it's extremely hard to heat. We have ceiling insulation but we don't have anything else."
However, the family had a fireplace in the living room, which made a difference to the living areas, but the rest of the house was bitterly cold.
To help Nick and his parents, a family member successfully entered the family into a competition to win a new heat pump.
Fujitsu have been calling for nominations for the campaign for the past two months, encouraging people to nominate worthy friends, families and small businesses.
There were 17 winning applicants, who will now each receive a heat pump valued at up to $4000.
The Beldhams said they were "gobsmacked" when they heard they had won.
They planned to put the heat pump in the hallway so Nick could move freely throughout the house.
"It will just give him a wee bit more freedom in the confines of the house," Rob Beldham said. "A consistent temperature will help him relax."
Their lives were "turned upside down" when Nick was diagnosed with a brain tumour at age 6.
Although he was successfully treated and is now in remission, the cancer left him with health problems that make everyday life a struggle.
The treatment left Nick unable to produce growth hormones and susceptible to weight gain.
He suffered numerous other problems, including bullying and two breakdowns at primary school.
"I lost my childhood really. People look at me and they know I'm not well and you don't get treated very well," he said.
Pauline has been a stay-at-home mum for the past 12 years, caring for her son.
"We just lead a simple life and concentrate on keeping him as well as possible.
"A heat pump's something we've always thought about but we couldn't afford it. This is just an absolute bonus for us."
- © Fairfax NZ News
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