According to a well-known charity, if you come a cropper and need a wheelchair, your best bet is either to get injured just a little or quite a lot.
If you get a small injury, hospitals have to provide an aid such as crutches or a walking frame. If you have a long-term loss of mobility, hospitals are obliged to provide a wheelchair. But if you need a wheelchair for less than six months, then in most areas you won’t be given one.
Fortunately, the Woodhouse Centre can help by loaning a wheelchair or zimmer frame. Borrowing is a simple process and there is no charge, but we welcome donations.
This is Stephen’s story of how the Woodhouse Centre helped him after sepsis. This life-threatening condition strikes 150,000 people per year in the UK and kills 44,000 – more than bowel, breast and prostate cancer combined. It occurs when the immune system over-reacts to an infection, attacking the major organs. Unless caught at once, the patient is likely to spiral to multi-organ failure, septic shock and death.
“Following surgery and a C. diff infection I had acute kidney and respiratory failure, my blood pressure plummeted and my heart was racing” says Stephen. “I was put in an induced coma and was delirious. I had a second bowel operation, a tracheotomy and numerous blood transfusions. It was never ending. I was in an intensive care unit for nearly 6 weeks. I lost about 15% of my body weight”.
“When I started to feel better I was moved to a general ward for another three weeks and had to learn how to walk again. I then needed several weeks recovering in a care home”.
“When I came home I was unable to walk as far as the surgery and shops. So I was very grateful to borrow a wheelchair from the Woodhouse Centre. Later on I heard about the Centre’s ‘Men in Sheds’ project. I have now joined this club for recreation and to help me with my mental health problems. In turn I am also helping the Woodhouse Centre as a volunteer. Oxted is very lucky to have this local charity and resource”.
“Whenever there are signs of infection it’s crucial that people seek medical help immediately, and that medical staff ‘think sepsis’” says Stephen. With every hour that passes before the right antibiotics are administered, the risk of death increases. Earlier recognition and treatment can save lives and improve the quality of life for survivors like me”.
For more information or support please visit https://sepsistrust.org/.