Help Ben buy a powered wheelchair

Ben Shaw is dad to Charlie (8) and Tabitha (5) and there is nothing Ben would like more than to meet them from school or take them to the park to play.  The problem is that he can’t – at least not on his own.

Ben was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis 12 year ago and his condition has gradually worsened.  He now has very little use of his legs, one arm and hand are also severely affected and he suffers from a variety of additional conditions as well as considerable pain, stiffness and balance problems.  He doesn’t  complain, won’t  give in and continues to fight the disease in every way he can.

He is now wheelchair-bound and his wife Bec, our daughter, is his carer. Somehow, amidst all the difficulties and a singular lack of support from virtually every statutory authority, they manage and continue to forge a happy  and, as far as possible, normal life for themselves and the kids.

The single biggest practical problem they face is the wheelchair.  The manual wheelchair supplied by the NHS looks like something out of a museum and while it’s just about OK for indoor use, outdoors it is a menace – big back wheels and tiny, caster-like front wheels.  It means that any outdoor journey is an accident waiting to happen.  A bump or an uneven kerb edge combined with Ben’s problems with balance and his difficulty holding on could mean disaster. 

The problem with his arm and hand means Ben cannot use the manual chair under his own power, making him totally dependent on Bec (or somebody else) to get him out and about.

He deserves some independence and the solution is a powered wheelchair, built to meet the specific challenges he faces.  It needs to have simple joystick controls,  seating designed to mitigate his balance problems and a wheel-arrangement that provides stability and safety.  It also needs to be lightweight  (it will be Bec who has to get it into the car most of the time) and transportable.

Such wheelchairs do exist but they don’t come cheap and currently there is no chance that Ben and Bec could fund one on their own.  Please help us to raise the money needed.  If we can get to the target, it will give Ben back some measure of independence, take some of the strain away from Bec and help Charlie and Tabs enjoy their dad again.
  • Caroline Upton
    • £10 
    • 37 mos
  • Adrian Furlonger
    • £20 
    • 42 mos
    • £20 
    • 43 mos
  • Lucy Thomas
    • £20 
    • 43 mos
  • Anne Harris
    • £25 
    • 44 mos
See all

Organizer and beneficiary

James Hirst
Nottingham, East Midlands, United Kingdom
Rebecca Hirst

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