Disabled man launches fundraising drive to pay for pain relieving wheelchair which NHS wont fund

A disabled man has launched a fundraising drive to raise enough money for a life-changing wheelchair which the NHS wont fund.

John Vickers, 40, from Catterick Garrison, has spinal muscular atrophy type 2, which leaves him confined to a wheelchair.

The condition is progressive and he is slowly losing the strength in his muscles, meaning his needs change over time.

A new wheelchair which met his needs was ordered from the NHS, however the request for funding for the machine was rejected.

John says he has been left with no choice but to pay for a new wheelchair himself.

“My needs have changed quite a lot.

“I find it very difficult to use a joystick now as I just don’t have the strength in my arms so after looking at alternative driving control systems, I had an assessment at my local NHS wheelchair centre where we discussed my needs and a chair was ordered.

“I have since heard that the order request has been rejected and another chair has been sourced and is not fit for purpose.”

He added: “The chair that was ordered would have met most of my needs and enable me to drive myself, but the chair I really want and would have definitely been rejected allows me to lie flat which would make a tremendous difference to me as I’m sat in it all day and suffer from a lot of hip pain.

“Having the ability to lie flat would really ease the day-to-day pain.

“The chair is going to cost in excess of £20,000.

“I don’t think I’ve paid £20,000 for a vehicle let alone a new chair. I’m saving what money I can and planning some fundraising events to help get my new chair. Any donations you make are gratefully received.”

To find out more and to help the appeal click here.