25 September 2009
A terminally ill mother and her daughter are making the most of their time together – thanks to the loan of a wheelchair from the British Red Cross.
Hilda Ford (72) from Arbroath in Tayside was diagnosed with terminal cancer a year ago, and radiotherapy left her feeling very ill and fragile. According to Janette Campbell – Hilda’s daughter and full-time carer – the disease stole her mother’s freedom, leaving her unable to walk or even leave the house.
Although Mrs Ford recovered from an initial bout of cancer six years ago, it returned last year and this time the diagnosis was terminal. Janette said: “My mother has been ill for a very long time, and for nearly a year couldn’t move around or do anything she was used to doing. This has been a very difficult time for her.”
‘It’s a godsend’
Luckily, a physiotherapist suggested using the Red Cross’ medical equipment service in Dundee, and Janette and her mother have not looked back since. Janette explained: “We phoned our local Red Cross centre and received a wheelchair within 24 hours. The volunteer was extremely helpful, demonstrating everything I needed to know about the chair. It’s a real godsend.”
Hilda’s quality of life has improved immensely since the Red Cross stepped in to help. Janette recalled: “On the first day we received the chair, I took my mum downtown and we visited all the shops she could never access before. We went for lunch the next day – and even to a car boot sale.”
“It was lovely to be outside in the fresh air, doing things my mum loves doing. Because her cancer is terminal, our time together is very precious.”
She added: “The wheelchair has given my mother a greater sense of freedom because she’s able to do all the things she couldn’t before. She’s now enjoying a fuller life and her energy levels have gone up. It’s done the world of good and really lifted her spirits.”
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