‘I had to crowdfund for my wheelchair so I could work as a doctor’

Latest news

    Hannah Barham-BrownImage copyright Hannah Barham-Brown

    Hannah Barham-Brown was studying at medical school when she was diagnosed with Ehlers-Danlos syndrome two years ago.

    The inherited condition leaves her joints weak and susceptible to dislocation.

    It means she has to rely on a wheelchair a lot of the time. But when she was given the diagnosis she quickly realised the NHS was not going to be there for her.

    She was offered a standard NHS-issue wheelchair – but at 20kg (3st 2lb) it would have been too heavy for her and potentially dangerous, given her condition.

    She began to think her dreams of becoming a medic were over.

    “I didn’t even think I would get through medical school,” she says.

    A friend suggested she try to raise the money herself.

    The NHS offered her £140 towards the costs, but modern lightweight wheelchairs can set you back thousands of pounds.

    Image copyright Hannah Barham-Brown

    Ms Barham-Brown, 29, who is working across different hospitals in south London as part of her first year of being a junior doctor, took to crowdfunding and within 24 hours had raised enough to buy a fairly basic one for just over £2,000.

    “Without it I wouldn’t have been able to work as a doctor,” she says.

    “The standard one is just too heavy and has a wide turning circle.

    “It just would not have been possible to get around the wards.

    “Now, I’m the quickest doctor in the hospital – they’re always sending me to get the bloods.”

    The wheelchair also allows her to play sport – she races and plays wheelchair basketball.

    “It is so short-sighted not to fund wheelchairs that people need,” she says.

    “It keeps them active and working. Without them people become isolated, but unfortunately the cuts in the health service mean that is not possible.”

    Ms Barham-Brown is not the only person to have faced such difficulties.

    She says she is increasingly hearing of people resorting to such tactics to get the equipment they need.

    “More and more I’m seeing pleas on social media from people begging for support to buy wheelchairs, not only chairs like this – lightweight self-propelling chairs – but electric chairs,” she says.

    View the original article: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-40408456

    “The guidelines for getting chairs now are so strict, wheelchair services across the country are being privatised and it’s just getting harder and harder to get access.”

    In the same category are

    Explosion hits Ethiopia PM rally Image copyright EPA Image caption Abiy Ahmed became prime minister after his predecessor resigned in February An explosion has shaken a rally for ...
    What do people in CAR make of envoy Boris Becker? Former tennis champion Boris Becker has told the BBC he has a genuine diplomatic passport issued by the Central African Republic (CAR), despite CAR of...
    Travelers Championship: Rory McIlroy three shots off lead, Paul Casey two Rory McIlroy is sixth in the PGA rankingsTravelers Championship round-two leaderboard-10 B Harman (US); -9 M Jones (Aus), R Henley (US), Z Johnson (U...
    ‘Don’t swim with wild dolphins’ warning after Cardigan Bay picture Image copyright Jonathan Evans Image caption Boat skipper Jonathan Evans caught the incident on camera People have been warned to keep their dista...
    Rockwell Kent, the Gaeltacht, Cold War and Annie McGinley Image copyright Courtesy of Plattsburgh State Art Museum Image caption "Annie McGinley" now rests in a private collection in New York When I first...
    Trump says North Korea still ‘extraordinary threat’ Media playback is unsupported on your device Media captionWhy do North Koreans revere a mountain?US President Donald Trump has renewed sanctions on ...

    Leave a comment

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.