A teenager who was confined to his bedroom due to an incurable illness has been given a new lease of life thanks to a stairlift.
For over 14 years, 16-year-old Joshua Fox of Dunscroft has been living with Crohn’s disease that causes aches and pains in his joints.
The illness means every move causes severe pain throughout his body, making simple things like going up and down stairs a mission.
But, in the space of a week, things changed dramatically for Joshua and his family following a call from a Yorkshire stairlift manufacturer.
Acorn Stairlifts launched an initiative in November 2013 to support all three children’s hospices in Yorkshire, including Bluebell Wood, by donating refurbished stairlifts to families in need.
Joshua’s mum Rachel said: “There’s a misconception that stairlifts are just for the elderly, so for Acorn and Bluebell Wood to recognise there are young people and children who are in just as much need is a great step forward.
“Joshua hasn’t eaten since June 2012 – he is fed via a TPN feed through his chest and has to carry the machinery and bag up and down the stairs.
“He was so exhausted during the day that he’d only come down at lunchtime and went back upstairs at 4pm as it was such an effort to climb back up. Joshua lived his life in his bedroom and his opportunity to interact with the rest of the family was severely limited.
“The stairlift has given Joshua a sense of independence and control – he’s not limited to four hours downstairs. He can stay with the rest of the family much longer, which has been great for all of us.”
The family had been on a waiting list since March 2013 for a house assessment but by November were still waiting.
Following surgery in 2012, and a 10-month stay in hospital, the limitations to Joshua’s mobility were amplified and something needed to change.
Joshua had been a patient at the Bluebell Wood Children’s Hospice in Sheffield when he found out about the life changing scheme. Rachel added: “Seeing the impact it’s had on Joshua’s freedom and the interaction he can now have with the family, we can’t imagine life without it.”