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Housebound Accrington mum gets new lease of life
3:56pm Saturday 30th June 2012 in News
AN ACCRINGTON mum has found a new lease of life after being housebound for six years.
43-year-old Bethan Higson struggled to push her old-fashioned manual wheelchair, even within her home and said she felt the world was passing her by.
She faced a wait of up to three years for a motorised version until not-for-proft group Hyndburn Homewise stepped in.
Homewise, who run the not-for-profit Shop Mobility, raised the £2500 needed for a half-wheelchair half-scooter Rascal Turnabout so Bethan could rediscover her town.
She said: “I actually cried when Homewise came with the new wheelchair. It’s fantastic. Now I can do things, like post a letter or go to the cash machine to pay the window cleaner - things other people take for granted.
“It was very frustrating. I felt like the whole world was passing me by when I saw other people being able to go out and about past my window.”
Bethan was diagnosed with spondylitis of the spine in 1992, but over time her condition detiorated and she has been unable to leave her home unaided since 2006. Moving around her Accrington home, she had to use her foot to nudge the chair along, and trips outdoors were out of the question.
As she lived alone, she relied heavily on her grown up children and nearby relatives for help with even simple errands. After an Occupational Therapist recommended a motorised wheelchair, Bethan was devastated to be told it could be a two to three year wait on the social service waiting list.
Bethan’s therapist asked Hyndburn Homewise to help and the group were able to raise the full amount needed.
Bethan added: “I just hope my story is an inspiration to other people in the same boat and that there is help out there. You just have to be patient.”
Hyndburn Homewise raised the funds from two sources, The ACT Foundation and The Accrington Sick Poor Fund. Tracie Hamilton at Homewise said: “We were thrilled when we heard we’d been successful in getting the funding Bethan needs. When we were applying for funding, I’d call Bethan, and of course she’d always be home. Now it makes me smile when I can’t reach her because she’s always out and about.”
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