Eileen Moving Forward

A lady from Chester who has suffered from a debilitating series of spinal-related difficulties throughout her life is benefitting from an Enable grant from the Steve Morgan Foundation for three pairs of custom-made orthopaedic shoes.

Eileen, who used to teach deaf people prior to her retirement, was born with diastematomyelia – a split spinal cord – and suffers from severe scoliosis, nerve damage to her left leg and a paralysed foot.

She has undergone numerous operations to try and fix her spine and foot, and also suffers with chronic osteoporosis.

Over the years Eileen has managed her pain and her condition with a strict daily exercise programme to keep her mobile and improve the curvature of her spine.

But, a year ago, she suffered a bad fall followed by an accident at home, which led to an injured arm and neck, a broken toe and left her immobilised for several months.

As a result, her fitness and bone condition deteriorated and, having already had three toes partially amputated due to infections caused by pressure sores from poor fitting shoes, there was a real danger of Eileen’s health deteriorating further.

“Eileen was advised that she could be at risk of losing her leg should she suffer another infection,” explained Karen Charles, Enable Funding Officer with the Steve Morgan Foundation.

“With her condition, it is imperative that her shoes are well fitting and protective.

“She required three pairs of custom-made shoes – firstly gym shoes, to be able to safely continue her exercise programme to rebuild her strength, then slippers, to reduce the risk of falling at home, and an outdoor pair of shoes, as her current ones are in need of repair and can take up to six months to do so via the NHS.

“Wearing an old pair in the meantime would risk a return of those pressure sores and infections, and, even though Eileen has been supported by her Orthopaedic surgeon, as yet she has been unable to obtain the shoes through the NHS.

“As a result, the Steve Morgan Foundation has agreed to provide £2,614 for the three pairs of shoes, of which Eileen has already received the gym shoes and is just waiting on the other two pairs.

“This is quite a different example of the range of our Enable funding, which is there to provide a wide variety of specialised equipment, and we are delighted to have been able to help Eileen to stay fit and active and deal so positively with the challenges she faces on a daily basis.”

And 60-year-old Eileen has certainly wasted no time in putting her new gym shoes to work!

“I’m delighted with my fabulous new trainers, as you can see from the photos,” she says.

“They are a complete game changer for me, allowing me access to the treadmill where I can practice and improve my walking gait.

“This is something which I haven’t previously been able to do, and not only improves my posture but will help prevent any further rotation of my spine.

“I can’t thank the Steve Morgan Foundation enough for making this possible for me.”

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