Lions give funds for Matthew’s wheelchair

THE generosity of the community has made one Midhurst couple feel ‘tearful and humble’ after they received overwhelming donations to put towards their son’s new wheelchair.

Geoff and Lyn Oram’s son Matthew was paralysed from the waist down after a serious fall in August last year.

As reported in the Observer last month, Matthew was donated a wheelchair which was not suitable for his needs, so the family had put it outside their front door with a sign inviting people to enquire about buying or making a donation for it.

However, less than two hours later, the wheelchair had been stolen and the Observer reported the story.

Lyn and Geoff Oram said: “The response was amazing. The generosity of local residents has been so overwhelming that many a time we have felt tearful and also humble.

“A few days ago, we had a visit from a Lions Club committee member. They had also seen the newspaper article. After discussion at their meeting, they very generously promised to contribute nearly all the cost of the new wheelchair. It was such a lovely shock and caused more tears.

“Lions Club – thank you so much from the bottom of our hearts.”

Matthew has also been inundated with support from friends and his parents clients.

“People started giving us small donations for our son stating that it was for him to be spent on anything he needed,” said Lyn.

“We opened a savings account with that in mind. Again, people were so kind and contributed to the fund, one person even saving her £2 coins for it.”

A Berkshire Polo Club which has a team playing in the Cowdray Park Gold Cup, offered to invite teams playing on their home ground to contribute to Matthew’s wheelchair fund as an entry fee.

“There will be more money in the fund than the cost of a wheelchair but there are so many things that a disabled person needs to lead a happy and independent life,” said Mr and Mrs Oram.

Matthew is looking to spend the money on a bath and toilet cushion which will make day-to-day activities easier.

Lyn said any money left in the fund after all the purchases have been made will be donated to Macmillan cancer support to put something back in to say ‘a very big thank you’ to everyone on behalf of the family.

After being discharged from hospital, Matthew moved in to a rehabilitation flat in Portsmouth to be closer to his friends. He is also taking up sport and has smashed the Salisbury Hospital Spinal unity swimming record with 33 lengths.

Matthew is learning to drive and will soon have a specially adapted car which means he will be able to get in and out independently.