Jan 15 2004
A DOCTOR suffering from Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is appealing for help in raising funds for a new wheelchair.
Helen Hutt, from Fuzzens Walk in Windsor, is seeking help in raising £15,000 to replace a specially designed wheelchair that will help her retain her independence and drive her children around.
The Windsor Lions and the Maidenhead branch of the MS society have pledged £3,000 if she can raise the remaining £13,000. Dr Hutt, 43, who has a PhD in Applied Entomology from the University of Reading, said the idea of raising that amount of money on her own was too overwhelming.
The divorced mother, who is living with her two teenage children on income support in sheltered accommodation, said that the specially designed wheelchair was the only type that allowed her to use her modified van to get around.
She said: "I've researched all wheelchairs but none of them drop low enough to the floor for me to see properly for driving."
She hopes to hear from anyone who could help her arrange fundraising events or even make a donation because the illness leaves her feeling exhausted and unable to work towards raising the money on her own.
Dr Hutt first started suffering symptoms in 1989. It was not until 1992 that Multiple Sclerosis was diagnosed at Charing Cross hospital in London.
Of the four types of MS, Dr Hutt suffers from the Secondary Progressive form, one of the worse strains of the disease. She said: "The illness started when I was pregnant with my second child. He has never seen me without my walking stick."
Since then the disease, which attacks the nervous system and the ability to function, has caused a steady decline in her mobility and health. There is no recovery from MS.
She said: "Without the ability to drive my car I will be totally housebound. For my sanity and independence I need to be able to get around."
But the ability to use a car is not only important for Dr Hutt but also for her children, who are of an age where they need to be chauffeured around by their mum. She is concerned that not being able to use the car will affect them.
Anyone that would like to help Dr Hutt should call her on 01753 866072.
© Copyright 2004, Trinity Mirror Plc