Rugby’s response to Megan’s chair plight

Megan Richardson, recently received a wheelchair that was donated to her.
Megan Richardson, recently received a wheelchair that was donated to her.

An anonymous donor in Rugby has given 12-year-old Megan Richardson an electric wheelchair after seeing last week’s Advertiser.

The Avon Valley student was denied a new motorised chair by the NHS, which told her she no longer met the criteria needed to qualify for a new one. Not having a new chair would have meant Megan, who suffers from cerebral palsy, not being able to travel anywhere without the assistance of someone to push her.

Since last week’s story was published, the Advertiser received over a dozen offers of help from kind Rugbeians wanting to contribute money or old equipment.

Sarah Richardson, Megan’s mother, said: “The response to my daughter’s situation has been amazing – we’ve both been overwhelmed. I didn’t expect so many people to be willing to help. These people are strangers so it’s very moving.”

The cost of a new chair would have run in to thousands of pounds for the Richardsons. Megan has used an NHS-provided chair since she was five years old.

Sarah added: “Megan’s thrilled with the kindness of the lady who donated the chair and to her daughter, who the chair used to belong to.

“She’s so grateful that she doesn’t have to worry about her social life being affected by what would have happened if she hadn’t got a chair.”

Last week Sarah said that since Megan struggles to push herself, leaving the house to go to the park or shops would have been impossible without an adult.

“What girl her age wants to socialise with her friend with an adult around?,” she said.

A statement from South Warwickshire NHS Foundation Trust said that wheelchairs are provided only to those who need help in their home environment, and that Megan no longer had eligible needs.

A spokesman said: “Criteria have not changed and provision is based on the person having eligible needs. It is not automatic that chairs are reissued.”