“To say this is a life changer is no understatement.”

A man from Southport who is paralysed from the chest downwards has received an Enable grant for an adjustable wheelchair and Batec electric attachment to increase his independence and allow him to continue taking part in activities.

Joseph, aged 47, sustained a catastrophic spinal cord injury at the age of just 21, which has left him with many challenges in life, and reliant on many hours of funded care during the week, including nights.

He requires assistance with all personal care, including dressing, cooking, cleaning and shopping, and also recently lost both of his parents.

“Joseph’s parents were his ‘pillars of strength’, who took him our regularly, allowing him to access the many activities he enjoys,” says Jane Harris, Director of Regional Grants with the Steve Morgan Foundation.

“His only other family is his brother in Liverpool, who is mentally disabled and unfortunately does not have the capability to be able to help him.

“Joseph used to regularly attend the Spinal Unit in Southport to use the special equipment at their gym, play table tennis and swim, which he enjoyed immensely as well as being able to strengthen his arms and maintain cardiovascular fitness.

“Since he lost his parents, he has had to reduce the number of times he could attend those activities, due to the cost of needing to pay for taxis.

“His NHS self-propelled wheelchair is not adjustable, which doesn’t help Joseph in terms of suffering regular painful spasms to his back and legs, and his posture is not sufficiently supported to be able to self-propel over any great distance.

“The Enable grant for this Offcar Adjustable Wheelchair and Batec Quad Electric attachment will give Joseph independence and the means to travel further, in comfort, to be able to access the activities which he enjoys.

“It also means he will no longer feel as isolated, and will be able to enjoy both the physical benefits of the fitness equipment and improve his mood and mental wellbeing.”

Joseph received a grant of £8,940 towards the new wheelchair.

He said:  “I can’t begin to thank the Steve Morgan Foundation for what this has done for me.

“To say this is a life changer is no understatement.

“Waking up and knowing I can go somewhere on my own without relying on taxis, buses or even staff is something I never thought I’d experience. 

“It was always something I’d just dreamt of. And now thanks to the Steve Morgan Foundation it is very much a reality.

“I still have to pinch myself to think I’ll just whizz out to town, and the sense of freedom this bike brings is something I’ve never felt since the day of my accident. 

“The other day I was sitting in not feeling 100%, and 20 minutes later I was at the end of the pier, watching the sunset and feeling blessed!

“No matter how much I write or try to articulate, people will never fully understand how much this has changed my life and how much it means to me or just how grateful I am.”

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