Feb 12 2004
Slough and Windsor Express
A DISABLED doctor, left housebound after her wheelchair broke, has now been given a new lease of life thanks to a generous Express reader.
After an appeal in the Express, Helen Hutt, 43, who suffers from Multiple Sclerosis (MS), is having the wheelchair entirely paid for by a local charity.
Dr Hutt of Fuzzens Walk, Windsor, said she was 'flabbergasted' when she heard that Airways Charitable Trust will pay £16,519 for a new motorised wheelchair. It has also agreed to pay for an extended five-year warranty and the first year's insurance.
The charity contacted Dr Hutt and sent out an application form which took her 10 days to complete because it was so detailed. After approving it last Wednesday, they contacted her to say they would happily pay the whole amount needed.
Dr Hutt said: "I was absolutely flabbergasted. It's such an enormous amount of money. I cried when I heard. The extended warranty is also a big benefit because it gives peace of mind. Finding money for repairs is a huge undertaking."
Dr Hutt says her two children are happy too. "Of course their social life will improve. It now means we are more of a normal family. For me, it gives back my independence and sanity. Without it, I would be housebound."
One of the trustees of the charity, John O'Sullivan, said he put forward Dr Hutt's name after his wife read about her plight in the Express.
He said: "This was considered a priority because here was a lady whose whole life is dependent on being mobile. We are extremely pleased that we are able to help, especially someone who is on our doorstep and has two children to support."
The trust was set up in 1994 and donates £2 million to help people with a physical or mental disability, either directly or through an organisation.
Although the trust donates to good causes nationwide and has started work on projects overseas, the main focus is still on the home counties around their base in Windsor.
The Windsor Lions and the Maidenhead branch of the MS Society had already pledged £3,000 to the fund. It is hoped only some of this will be needed for a clamp-down mechanism for the wheelchair, allowing the rest to go to other worthy causes.
Other individuals who contacted Dr Hutt about carrying out sponsored events will now also be able to raise money for equally good causes.
One of the most touching donations was a £10 voucher from a pensioner
Dr Hutt used to meet when out in her wheelchair walking the dog.
Copyright © 2004, Trinity Mirror Plc