Wed, 25 Jul 2018
A WOOLTON Hill woman has been given a wheelchair following an appeal in the Newbury Weekly News.
Charlotte Walton, 24, has been left housebound as a result of Ehlers Danlos Syndrome (EDS) – a rare condition that affects less than 0.1 per cent of the population.
She has also recently been diagnosed with a degenerative condition Functional Neurological Disorder (FND) for which there is no treatment.
EDS affects connective tissue, meaning her body can’t support itself, resulting in regular joint dislocations and excruciating pain.
Following a report in the NWN in May, Roger Dakin of Greenham-based company Smile Smart Technology, contacted Miss Walton and offered to provide her with a wheelchair until she had raised the money to get the one she needs for her condition.
Miss Walton said: “Roger has been an absolute star. Smile Smart even provided some adaptations from their store.
“It’s not what I actually need, but it has helped me in the short-term.
“I can now get into the garden and down the road. I still need a carer, as the chair won’t fit through the doors of my house, but it has given me some freedom.
“They were absolutely brilliant and I can’t fault them. They have also helped me to see what I need in a chair.”
Following a professional assessment, Miss Walton now realises what is available in the wheelchair market and what she requires for her changing needs.
She originally thought £2,500 would be enough, but now realises she will need in the region of £6,000.
Currently, she is between £600 and £1,000 short of that target.
“They don’t want the wheelchair back, but they have asked that I donate it to someone else who needs it,” she added.
“I would like to thank everyone for their donations. I can’t thank Smile Smart technology enough and it has given me faith in human nature.
“This chair has made such a difference to my life, I can only imagine what a difference it would make to have the chair I need.”
Speaking about her condition, Miss Walton said: “Unfortunately, this condition has taken away the use of my legs and now I am unable to stand, let alone walk with crutches like I was doing before.
“I am completely housebound. I can’t self-propel as my joints dislocate, so I would need someone to push me.”
Miss Walton also suffers from Dysautomnia and Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS), which prevents her body from regulating simple functions such as temperature, blood pressure and heart rate.
To donate and help her get the wheelchair she needs, visit www.gofundme.com/get-charlotte-out-and-about