No help for housebound mother

Sarah Meakin has been refused an electric wheelchair by the NHS
Sarah Meakin has been refused an electric wheelchair by the NHS

A mum-of-two and double amputee has said she has lost her freedom as she does not qualify for an electric wheelchair on the NHS.

Sarah Meakin, 38, from Sutton, had her legs amputated above the knee in August 2015, after she unintentionally overdosed on oral morphine, taken for severe back pain following a road traffic accident which happened years before.

She said: “The overdose caused me to collapse, and lose the blood supply to the bottom of my legs, eventually leading to the loss of both my legs above the knee.

“I was found by my dad and the police.”

Sarah who has two young sons aged nine and 12, was told a few months ago that she does not fit the NHS requirement for an electric wheelchair as she can move around indoors in her manual wheelchair.

She said: “I have lost my independence, I just want to go out of the house.

“If I had an electric chair I could go to the park with my sons. I use to enjoy sitting in a cafe and watching the world go by but I can’t even do that.

“I am stuck in my house, when I go out with my father he has to push me but he is nearly 80 years old and shouldn’t have to.”

Sarah has carers who visit her four times a day but only take her out for two hours once a week.

Without NHS assistance Sarah needs to raise over £9,000 for a custom electric wheelchair, she said she has tried contacting charities who cannot help due to funding.

Sarah has also said the NHS will not allow her to have prosthetic legs as she had a catheter and a bad back.

A spokeswoman from Sherwood Forest Hospital NHS Trust, where Sarah received treatment, said: “Electrically-powered wheelchairs are only provided for patients where specialised therapists at the trust’s wheelchair service have carried out an assessment and all eligibility criteria has been met.

“The most appropriate model of wheelchair will then be provided.

“The trust is happy to speak to Ms Meakin about her needs and discuss her individual assessment with her if she feels her needs have changed and she needs to be reassessed.”

Sarah is trying to raise crowd funding to purchase an electric wheelchair. To donate to Sarah visit www.gofundme.com/sarah-meakin.

http://www.gofundme.com/sarah-meakin