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Woman’s Leg Amputated Against Her Wishes After CoP Ruling

August 1, 2015

A mentally-ill woman has had part of her leg amputated against her wishes in order to save her life, it has emerged.

Doctors said the woman, in her 60s, would die “very soon” from an infection unless her leg was removed above the knee.

Last Friday, the Court of Protection ruled Surrey & Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust could carry out the operation.

But it banned reports of its decision until surgery had taken place, in case the woman found out and was distressed.

Mr Justice Keehan said he was “concerned to say the least” about authorising amputation against a patient’s wishes.

‘Best interests’

But, he concluded, the woman had no “concept” of the risk to her life and said she “deserved the chance to live”.

The court heard the woman, who had “psychotic symptoms”, had an infection which was not responding to treatment.

Doctors said she did not have the mental capacity to make decisions about her treatment and did not understand the risk to her life.

Mungo Wenban-Smith, for the trust, argued amputation could prolong the woman’s life by 10 or more years.

Conrad Hallin, who was appointed on the woman’s behalf, agreed the amputation was in her best interests.

Mr Justice Keehan ruled: “I am completely satisfied that [the woman] lacks the capacity to make decisions because she suffers from a delusional disorder.

“It would appear she has no concept or understanding whatsoever that the alternative to surgery is that she will die within the next five to 10 days.”

Carers now being targeted by the DWP. 

July 31, 2015

Originally posted on The poor side of life:

Sometimes it’s hard to keep up with all the changes that are occurring in the DWP. It seems like a never ending turnstile of changes. I usually get alerted to the big changes fairly early on before they happen, but I missed this one.

A lady approached me outside the Jobcentre yesterday during our weekly demonstration. To say she was a bit annoyed was an understatement. She is a full time carer for her disabled son. His condition is unpredictable at times and as a result they are in receipt of a high level DLA payment. It’s not easy to get a high level award and this lady has fought very hard to get this.

She had received a letter from the Jobcentre. She had been asked to go into the Jobcentre for a mandatory back to work meeting. To make matters worse they didn’t send her to her nearest…

View original 734 more words

Applications now open for £50,000 Stelios Award for Disabled Entrepreneurs in the UK 2015

July 31, 2015

A press release:

• The £50,000 award recognises talents of established business owners with a disability or long-term health condition.
• The cash prize is the largest of its kind for disabled entrepreneurs.
• The award is run in conjunction with Leonard Cheshire Disability, the UK’s leading disability charity.
• Award is personally chosen and presented by easyjet founder Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou at a special ceremony in London on November 4th.
Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou and Leonard Cheshire Disability are pleased to invite applications for the Stelios Award for Disabled Entrepreneurs 2015 worth £50,000.

The award, jointly run by the Stelios Philanthropic Foundation (www.stelios.com) and the charity Leonard Cheshire Disability, (www.LeonardCheshire.org) recognises the achievements of disabled entrepreneurs who have overcome challenges to set up their own company and excel in their chosen business field. Now in its ninth year, past winners have been drawn from the travel agency, homebuild and IT sectors as well as companies specialising in disability/mobility aids.

Applications are now being accepted online at http://www.leonardcheshire.org The deadline for all applications is Friday 18 September 2015.

Sir Stelios said: “Creating opportunities for disabled people facing discrimination in business is essential. The Stelios Award for Disabled Entrepreneurs highlights their achievements and contribution to society.

We want to hear from talented disabled entrepreneurs who are able to show they have got what it takes to run a successful business and meet a real need in the market.”

Clare Pelham, Chief Executive of Leonard Cheshire Disability said: “We are delighted to work with Sir Stelios on an award that celebrates the remarkable achievements of disabled entrepreneurs.

“I know there are many talented and successful disabled entrepreneurs out there. I urge them to take advantage of this unique opportunity for valuable recognition of their business and skills – in cash and publicity – and apply.”

Last year’s winner, Ben Wolfenden said: “Winning the 2014 award has meant so much to me both financially and personally. I’ve been able to solidify the team and our offering, grow some fantastic new clients and build a better working environment for my health.”

Ben said that despite undergoing a gruelling regime of medication and five hours of physiotherapy every day, he and his team have grown Visibilis by over 1000% in the year from 2012 to 2013, with 2014 exceeding expectations.

He added, “I would urge anyone with a disability, whether you see yourself as an entrepreneur or not, to apply and let Stelios and his team decide!”

 

For full details on eligibility and an application form please visit http://www.leonardcheshire.org/stelios or call 020 7112 1489 (choose option 1). Alternative application formats are available on request.

www.stelios.com

Justin Ashton becomes the first person in the world to be fitted with leading medical technology for drop foot sufferers

July 31, 2015

 A press release:

Justin Ashton, a 40 year old stroke survivor from Kettering has become the first person in the world to be fitted with a new innovative nerve stimulator cuff to help him walk normally again. The Ottobock MyGait Cuff Soft is the world’s most advanced Functional Electrical Stimulation (FES) cuff of its kind, enabling people with drop foot to walk more naturally again.

The MyGait Cuff Soft is the slimmest FES cuff available in the market. Designed specifically to be easy to put on and take off using only one hand, the unique design is comfortable and breathable. Discreet and effective, the MyGait Cuff Soft could help thousands of people in the UK living with MS, stroke survivors and the effects of brain injury. The device is so discreet that when worn to aid walking, it is barely noticeable.

Justin suffered a stroke whilst working as an electrician. He was on his way to work when his driving became impaired, his speech slurred and he lost vision. He was told he had suffered a stroke and rushed to Kettering General Hospital, however it was days before he realised the full extent of his stroke and the effect it would have on his life. After six months of rehabilitation, Justin still struggled with walking, tripping and falling often due to drop foot, which is the inability to raise the foot due to a weakness in or paralysis of the dorsiflexor muscles in the leg and the foot.

“Following my stroke, I thought my life was over. I was unable to even sit up by myself and had to re-learn all the simple tasks you take for granted all over again,” states Justin. “It would be fair to say I was a fit and active 33 year old when I suffered the stroke; I loved my job as an electrician, I was a keen golfer and would also coach my son’s football team at the weekend. When I was unable to get out of bed it was devastating to not be able to do my daily activities and only be able to see my children when they visited me in rehab.”

He has since become the first patient in the world to be fitted with a new product called MyGait Cuff Soft to treat drop foot. The most advanced cuff-based stimulator on the market, it offers two-channel stimulation – meaning more than one muscle group can be stimulated at one time. In addition, the new technology allows for adaption during sub-phases of gait to improve the way patients walk.

“I’ve tried all sorts of treatments for my drop foot – from orthoses right through to other FES devices on the market and can honestly say the new MyGait Cuff Soft is worlds apart. It’s more comfortable than anything I’ve tried and is slim enough to wear under any of my jeans & trousers, even the narrow ones – which is a first for me! It fits really nicely, is easy to put on and off and has allowed me to go out and do so much more. I have my confidence back and have lost the fear that comes when you’re unstable and immobile.”

The MyGait Cuff Soft works by providing an electrical impulse that is delivered to the nerve which stimulates the muscle into movement. A heel switch sensor communicates wirelessly with the cuff and electrodes to stimulate the appropriate nerve at the right time and frequency during the walking cycle.  A unique advantage of MyGait system is that in addition to the dorsiflexor muscles, other muscle groups can also be stimulated using a second channel. This makes it possible to provide additional support when walking. Knee and hip control can be improved by stimulating different muscles with the second channel.

“Drop foot can leave sufferers with complex mobility challenges that effects quality of life and confidence,” states Lynn Vale, MyGait specialist at Ottobock. “We are delighted to introduce this exciting new product to the UK that is helping people like Justin get their life back on track and improving their walking ability. The new Cuff Soft is comfortable to wear and is so slim it is hardly noticeable under trousers.”

The MyGait Cuff Soft is available from leading Ottobock distributors around the UK. Visit the Ottobock website to find your nearest MyGait Cuff Soft distributor.

Wanted: A Very Personal Assistant, Episode 2

July 31, 2015

BBC Three, 9pm:

There are currently around 300,000 young disabled people in the UK who rely on carers for their daily needs. For many of these ambitious young people, finding the right carer is the difference between achieving their ambitions or a life unfulfilled. But as a young disabled person in Britain your options are limited, as the majority of people working in care are over 40 years old.

But with three quarters of a million young people under 24 currently looking for work, could the solution being staring us in the face?

This groundbreaking series explores what happens when four young ambitious disabled people put all their care needs in the hands of unemployed people their own age. But there’s a catch – to ensure applicants come with an open mind, the exact nature of the job and the employer’s disabilities aren’t revealed until the final job interview.

Will seeing the world from a different point of view help break down preconceptions of disability and unemployment? Could challenging shared experiences lead to lasting friendships and even a rewarding new career?

In the final programme, the new carers are pushed further out of their comfort zones as they help their employers face real-world challenges away from the home. With the possibility of a real job offer at the end there’s a lot at stake for everyone.

Michael’s carer Denny Lee struggles with his bowel management come to a head, forcing her to question whether this is really the job for her. Josh’s carer Francesca is shocked to be asked to take him to the red light district in Amsterdam so he can have sex. Rupy’s carer Chantelle comes to terms with the stark realities of finding accessible homes. Jasmine’s carer Emily must prove herself on the domestic front to have any chance of being offered a job.

An Open Letter to a researcher on “The Undatables”

July 30, 2015

Originally posted on Somewhat Ridiculous:

I did a new act competition today (it was fun and Tom Taylor won the heat as he was very good). I had my set all planned out, but then something happened that made me forget all my jokes and write something entirely new in an hour. At 15.45 today, I received this facebook message out of nowhere:

Hi Mabel,

I hope you are ok.

I really hope you don’t mind me messaging you – my name is {Name Redacted] and I am a Researcher on The Undateables. 

View original 751 more words

The Unbreakables: Life And Love On Disability Campus- Episode 1

July 30, 2015

BBC Three, 9pm:

Documentary series about life at National Star College in Gloucestershire, a further education college for people with physical disabilities, acquired brain injuries and associated learning difficulties.

The college years are ideal for making friends and finding romance. Roommates Xenon and Bradley Nash banter effortlessly about which of them is more handsome, but as they are leaving college soon their friendship will come to an end.

The high-octane college life includes all-campus events such sports day, summer balls and electing a new president. Bradley Butler is running for the top job – he sends an email to 200 students because he is desperate for his campaign to be taken seriously. But can he usurp the slick incumbent Nathan Mattick who is running for a second term?

Life at National Star is very different to life outside, as we find when we meet Beth in the Welsh Valleys who is preparing to leave home for the first time and start at National Star. She is desperate to meet new friends and quickly falls for Ed, a handsome young man who does not use a wheelchair. But she must come to terms with his learning disability, which is causing him to believe that he is a retired premiership footballer.

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