Amputee loses independence lifeline as mobility scooter is wrecked in crash

Amputee Paul Harrison has lost his only lifeline for independence after his mobility scooter was involved in a collision with a car.

Paul Harrison with his carer Sheree Smith and the damaged mobility scooter
Paul Harrison with his carer Sheree Smith and the damaged mobility scooter

Paul, aged 75, from Walsall, lost his right leg after a blood clot and operation in 2017 and for the past four years has relied on his mobility scooter, bought for £1,500 by family and friends, to go out and mix in the community.

Now his independence has been shattered by the loss of his scooter and the trauma of the collision which left him waiting hours for paramedics to arrive.

The accident happened as he crossed the slip road on Station Road, Pelsall, at 10.30am on Sunday morning. After the collision a passing district nurse pulled over and tried to help and a passing police officer also went to his aid.

Sheree Smith, a 54-year-old former dental nurse who has been Paul's carer for the past five years, said that the police officer warned that there could be a six-hour wait for a response from paramedics because of a fatal accident at Junction 10 on the M6 that day.

She said: "I then called my cousin, a nursing sister on a ward at Sandwell Hospital, who advised us to see if Paul could sit up and we managed to get him home on his indoor wheelchair.

"He lay on the road from 10.30am to 1pm and we just could not leave him lying there waiting and managed to get him home.

"We called the paramedics from the house and they eventually came out at 7.42pm and checked him over and said that he did not need to go to hospital and to contact his doctor."

Paul Harrison with his mobility scooter

Sheree added: "Paul is in severe shock and keeps having flashbacks and has now lost his only lifeline.

"He is already isolated because of the Covid situation and the mobility scooter was the only bit of independence he enjoyed to get him out and able to mix in the community.

"Paul is well-known and well-liked and was a lorry driver all his life and does not even get a disability allowance.

"He has had prostate cancer, a blood clot on his other leg and underwent three operations to try to save the one leg he lost.

"The prosthetic leg he has is too heavy and difficult to use.

"By speaking out I want people to know that this road is dangerous, people face a wait for the ambulance service and how devastating for Paul this has been."

Paul said: "I cannot go out any more and this has really broken me up."

A spokesman for West Midlands Ambulance Service said: "The whole of the NHS remains under severe pressure and unfortunately, long hospital handover delays mean some of our lower clinical priority patients wait longer for an ambulance to come to them in the community than we would want.

"We are working with all local partners across the health and care system to reduce delays so crews can respond to the next incident as quickly as possible.

"We would like to apologise to the patient for the time it took to reach him. Our staff are working tirelessly to respond to patients as soon as we can."

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