accessibility & help

Diana’s story: ‘My wheelchair has been a godsend’

Busy-bee Diana Spooner was facing ten weeks stuck in a chair following a major operation, but a Red Cross wheelchair soon had her racing around again.

As the manager of a bustling shop in Stoke-on-Trent with a dozen employees, Diana is a natural livewire and used to being on the move. So when she underwent an ankle operation – and was warned she would be in plaster for up to ten weeks – it came as quite a blow.

Worse, the set of crutches Diana got on her discharge from hospital weren’t at all suitable.

Busy again

The 60-year-old explained: “I suffer with arthritis in various parts of my body and found my elbow crutches too painful to use. So I went on the internet looking for wheelchairs, and that’s where I found the Red Cross.”

After a quick call to the local mobility aids centre, Diana’s husband went to pick up a wheelchair and her life was vastly improved.

She said: “My husband had been looking after me but I’m a very determined person, you see, so the wheelchair has been a godsend. Now I can do things for myself, such as cooking, housework and answering the phone. Before that, I couldn’t even get out of a chair.

Out and about

Besides the physical benefits, having the wheelchair also brought peace of mind to Diana and helped her cope better with her changed circumstances. She said: “The wheelchair stopped me getting depressed and made it easier for my family to take me out.

“I was in the supermarket the other day and saw my daughter. When I shouted out to her, she dropped her bags in shock and said ‘My mum’s out!’. She thought I’d be house-bound.”

Michelle Smith, service manager, added: “Borrowing our equipment is a simple process and we’re always happy to help. All our volunteers are trained to ensure people go away with exactly the right piece of equipment for their own or their relative’s needs.”

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