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Double Amputee Denied Electric Wheelchair Because He "Isn't Handicapped Enough"

A man who had both his legs amputated says he's being denied an electric wheelchair because he "isn't handicapped enough".

Andrew Walsh, who is waiting for kidney and pancreas transplants, said he has been left effectively housebound.

The 51-year-old's legs were amputated in August last year due to blood circulation issues as a result of diabetes.

He applied for an electric wheelchair - arguing he isn't strong enough to operate a manual one on his own - but was left devastated when he was told he didn't meet the criteria.

Mr Walsh, from Helensburgh, Argyll and Bute, said: "How handicapped do I need to be? I only want it for my independence."

He applied for an electric wheelchair from WestMARC rehabilitation centre, at the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital in Glasgow, after his legs were amputated.

But his application was declined.

Mr Walsh said: "I have lost hope now that I am ever going to get one, so we are just trying to highlight how they are treating people.

"At the first meeting I had only been in the room five minutes when she decided I didn't meet the criteria.

"At a second meeting I was told I was going to get one, but then I hadn't heard back in a month and a half, so I phoned the lady dealing with it.

"But they just kept telling me she wasn't available, that she was busy or that she wasn't in.
"Then we said that we were going to go to the paper, and she phoned me back five minutes later."

Mr Walsh and his sister Esther Jones claim they were told at a meeting, for a second time, that he did meet the criteria for an electric wheelchair - but that last Friday he got yet another letter saying he had been unsuccessful.

Mr Walsh added: "If they told me in the first place I wasn't getting it then that would have been it. But they have built my hopes up and then I have been told I'm not getting it."

Ms Jones recently met local MSP Jackie Ballie hoping she can make a difference for Mr Walsh's appeal.

Poor man.



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