The Great Outdoors

A man from Northwich who was left wheelchair-bound after a serious motorcycle accident has been able to regain his love of the outdoors thanks to an Enable grant from the Steve Morgan Foundation.

Stephen, aged 42, has a diagnosis of quadriplegia as a result of spinal injuries sustained in the accident, suffering from paralysis in his trunk and lower limbs and sensation loss in his upper limbs.

Although able to drive an adapted car for visits to the GP and shops he was unable to travel very far in his NHS wheelchair due to his arms not being strong enough to self-propel over grass and uneven ground.

An Enable grant of almost £7,000 towards a new lightweight wheelchair and Batec Mini Electric attachment has helped Stephen regain a level of freedom and independence and access the outdoors which he has always loved.

“Stephen lives in an area surrounded by woodland trails, which he wanted to access, but was unable to in his previous wheelchair,” says Jane Harris, Director of Regional Grants with the Steve Morgan Foundation.

“He felt he was becoming more isolated as time went on and that his mental health was suffering.

“He needed a replacement for his previous wheelchair, which he had been using for six years, but the new one was going to be even heavier, and he wasn’t eligible for an electric wheelchair from the NHS because he was still able to move his arms and self-propel, albeit only for short distances.

“The provision of the lightweight wheelchair with Batec attachment has enabled Stephen to move more freely across the community and countryside around him.

“He is able to interact with people on short journeys within the community as he can now make them in his wheelchair rather than a car.

“He had been relying heavily on friends and family to take him to outdoor events such as car and motorbike shows, but he now has the freedom to travel independently, greatly enhancing his mental and physical wellbeing and reducing his feelings of isolation.”

Stephen has thanked the Steve Morgan Foundation for the grant after what he described as a life-changing development.

“I love the outdoors and going on walks with my friends and family,” he says.

“I couldn’t do that, and hated it when people had to push me in my wheelchair.

“Now I can do it again, I am independent, and can once again go over the grass and through the forest.

“It is unbelievable how this has changed my life – to me the Steve Morgan Foundation are angels, and there are no words I can put to be able to say thank you for what they have done.”

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