We are all devastated, and the implications of what this means for Dom are still sinking in.
He desperately needs help to fund a replacement.
My brother, Dom Hyams, is 27 and was born with a severe form of Osteogenesis Imperfecta (Brittle Bones) and therefore has relied on a very specially adapted wheelchair his whole life. Having it taken away from him is devastating, as he has now completely lost his independence, which is the most important thing to him. He has not only had his wheelchair stolen from him, but he also now cannot drive, as his specially adapted van, adapted and originally supplied by Motability, was made specifically to work with that wheelchair. This also means he is unable to go into his work. Quite ironically, over the last six months Dom has been working to promote the revolutionary new access app assist-Mi, which is designed to make life more independent for people with a disability.
The wheelchair is a Balder F280. When he got it in 2010 it cost £17,500. This was originally funded by Action for Kids and The Brittle Bone Society. Balder as a company have recently closed down, so he will need an equivalent specially adapted replacement electric chair. His van will also need to be adapted to work with the new wheelchair. He needs to get a replacement as soon as possible.
Dom leads a very happy and independent life. He works full time, and he is a vocal advocate of independence for disabled people. This will all change dramatically without the use of a specially adapted chair. Please help if you can, I cannot emphasise enough how devastating this is for Dom.
If the wheelchair is found, we will divide all money donated evenly between two charities - The Brittle Bone Society and Action for Kids, who originally helped fund Dom's wheelchair.
Similarly, if the chair is not found but if our campaign exceeds the cost of a chair and new adaptations to Dom's van, any excess donations will be divided between those two charities.
Here is a statement from Dom:
My wheelchair is my everything really, it is my means of getting around and living a full and independent life including getting to work in Central London in my position as Communications and Digital Director at tech app company assist-Mi. I use it all day every day, and without it I am fully reliant on others to do absolutely everything for me. I am shell-shocked and extremely upset, and if I'm honest I can't quite believe it yet.
My sincere thanks to everyone for the support, it is so very much appreciated.
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