Wheelchair joy means MS sufferer Joanne is smiling again

MS sufferer Joanne Foster has started smiling again after being given a new special wheelchair thanks to the Steve Morgan Foundation.

The 47-year-old, who lives in rented accommodation in Widnes with her husband Ian, took delivery of the £7,800 DaVinci Leggera wheelchair last week and says it’s given her a new lease of life.

The Leggera is the most versatile in the DaVinci range and the lightweight frame is collapsible meaning Joanne can go out with friends and family in an ordinary vehicle.

“If I could shake Steve Morgan’s hand I would just say ‘thank you for changing my life’,” she said. “I never used to smile until I got the new wheelchair.”

The custom-built wheelchair was largely paid for as part of the Steve Morgan Foundation Enable Fund, which supports people of all ages in financial hardship, who are in need of specialised equipment including mobility aids, buggies, wheelchairs and trikes.

Joanne was officially diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2011 and the combination of that and a degenerative spinal problem means she’s completely wheelchair-bound.

She also relies on Botox injections to prevent her legs going into spasm.

Joanne said: “Previously I was completely reliant on an electric wheelchair but it meant I wasn’t exercising and I was putting on weight.

“We’ve got a specially adapted van but if I couldn’t go out with my husband I was stuck because the electric wheelchair was very bulky.”

The situation is complicated further by the fact husband Ian suffers from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

“The DaVinci Leggera wheelchair would have been too much for us to have afforded on our own but  thankfully the Steve Morgan Foundation stepped in through their Enable Fund.

“It arrived last week and I’ve not stopped going out and about in it. All I need now is some warmer weather!”

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