Sunday, 24 October 2010

Heather's Story

At 2.15 in the morning of October 2003 the police got my husband and I from our beds and half an hour later we were driving from the midlands to Dundee where our 22 year old daughter had suffered severe head injuries in a car accident.

She was in a coma for 6 weeks and continues to suffer the effects of an acquired head injury. She lives in a care home as she fears the loneliness and vulnerability of independent living. Her mobility is severely restricted and she relies on the mobility component of her benefits to lease a car under the wonderful motability scheme. In future years she may have used the benefit to buy herself a decent powered chair as the ones the local health authority provide are of low quality.

In the past 7 years she has several times been very depressed and suicidal. She has asked me to help her take her life. I know that if her mobility benefit is taken away and she is left with no chance to go out and about she will return to this depressed state.

Since hearing the devastating news of the spending review on Wednesday I have been e-mailing everyone I can think of and read all the blogs and message boards I can find. I am shocked by the very occasional comment which seems to paint severely disabled people as scroungers who we 'cannot afford' to help - we're one of the richest countries in the world for goodness sake.

What I want to say to these people is that your life can change in the twinkling of an eye. You could go to bed tonight in your ordinary life and wake up in hell like I did - don't think it can't happen to you.

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