Disabled Wirral woman's fundraising campaign for new wheelchair

Wirral Globe: Lee Dempsey's picture on GoFundMe site Lee Dempsey's picture on GoFundMe site

A WIRRAL woman with a rare genetic condition needs your help with a campaign to raise funds for a specially-adapted wheelchair.

American-born Lee Dempsey has Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (EDS), a multi-systemic syndrome affecting every joint in her body.

As a result she suffers incredible pain, weakness and instability and says the condition has made her a prisoner in her Wallasey home, receiving care from husband Chris 24 hours a day.

The current wheelchair is not fit for purpose and the couple have received financial help in the form of a £643 grant from the NHS towards the cost of a new one.

It will cost £2,300 and they need to raise the additional £1657. But the time in which the grant can be used runs out at the end of the month. Once the deadline passes, the couple will have to re-apply.

So the pressure is on to raise the shortfall and Lee hopes Globe readers can help raise funds for a new one.

In a heartfelt plea the 51-year-old said: "We need help. I have only been out of the house five times in the last year, except for medical appointments.

"I need the new wheelchair so I can get around out of the house and enjoy my surroundings. I live up the street from Wallasey Central Park and can’t get to it.

"My world is four walls of the house. My husband has a congenital defect of the right leg which means he can’t push my wheelchair around."

Lee, a former nurse, was born in Augustine, Florida and has lived in Wirral for 12 years.

She was born with the condition.

She continued: "We have been saving to raise the money for the chair and have skipped Thanksgiving and Christmas in order to save the money.

"We're both very isolated and just trying to get into the world."

Husband Chris said: "We're just trying to improve our quality of life and this wheelchair will help us do that.

"It's so emotionally draining. There is no positive prognosis, in fact people with the condition don’t tend to live much longer than the age Lee is now.

"So it’s simply a case of making life better in the time we have left.

"I’m only 42 and I care for Lee 24 hours a day, seven days a week. It’s killing us.

"We’ve chosen a local supplier for the wheelchair, but there’s a shortfall with cash."

To donate to the appeal, visit Lee's GoFundMe page www.gofundme.com/4o1f2g

Comments (2)

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5:35pm Fri 10 Jan 14

Mojo68 says...

Why is this poor lady having to raise funds for her own wheelchair, why is it not totally funded by the NHS? My son is a wheelchair user and I've never had to do this thankfully. Why do the disabled have to fight or beg for vital equipment, it's disgusting!!
Why is this poor lady having to raise funds for her own wheelchair, why is it not totally funded by the NHS? My son is a wheelchair user and I've never had to do this thankfully. Why do the disabled have to fight or beg for vital equipment, it's disgusting!! Mojo68

8:48pm Tue 14 Jan 14

merseymal says...

They'll provide a bog standard wheelchair but unfortunately they're not suitable for some conditions such as EDS where the risk of dislocation of joints is high.
They'll provide a bog standard wheelchair but unfortunately they're not suitable for some conditions such as EDS where the risk of dislocation of joints is high. merseymal

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