'My disabled child has no wheelchair due to Brexit red tape,' says James O'Brien caller

9 February 2021, 14:06

By Fiona Jones

Brexit red tape has meant this caller's disabled daughter cannot receive her wheelchair leaving her in 'constant agony'.

Caller Dan White's daughter Emily had surgery on her scoliosis last year, and it was deemed imperative by the surgeon that she had a new wheelchair specific to her recovery.

"We ordered the new wheelchair, we picked the colour, she was measured... we waited and we waited, we put in phone call after phone call," Dan said.

Eventually Dan's family was told that the parts needed to finish the chair were being held up: "We asked what the hold up was and he said one word, Brexit."

He told James: "All my realisations and everything I'd been thinking about Brexit was confirmed.

"Her surgery is in danger of being undone because she's stuck in a wheelchair that's not fit for purpose. She's in constant agony, purely because the spares and essentials needed to fix this chair are being held up across the border by pure red tape."

Dan White said that when he put this issue out on Twitter, he was "besieged" by fellow parent carers and fellow disabled members of the community with the same problem.

His double amputee friend is urgently waiting for a prosthetic limb: "It sounds ridiculous to say it, but her limb is stuck in transit.

"Because she can't have that limb she's in danger of having more blood clotting on her leg."

"People cannot just sit in a wheelchair, it has to be specifically manufactured to their needs," Dan said, stating that any people representing the disabled community have been excluded from all talks on Brexit negotiations.

Dan told James he has heard "nothing at all" from the Government regarding Emily's plight, adding that Minister for Disabled People Justin Tomlinson has been "missing in action since Covid started."

"With two out of three victims of Covid suffering from a disability of some variance, this has been an unprecedented humanitarian disaster," Dan said, "we're hit by a wall of silence."

The Government has been contacted for a response.

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