From the Leicester Mercury, 5 December 2005.
A 15-year-old girl with a debilitating condition says she has been desperately trying to get a wheelchair from the NHS for the past eight months.
Abbey Blick, from Blaby, was diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, also known as ME, in April this year which has left her unable to stand unaided.
Abbey, who goes to South Wigston High School, said when she goes outside she needs to use a wheelchair.
She claimed: “My consultant, physiotherapist and occupational therapists don’t know who is allowed to give me a wheelchair, and I have been passed around in a triangle repeatedly for the past few months.”
As a result, her parents have had to purchase one, which then broke, so they had to buy another second-hand one which they feel will soon be unusable.
Abbey said a wheelchair is essential for her: “The effort I need to walk will leave me completely exhausted. I need help almost every hour of the day as I can’t even take a bath by myself.”
Abbey, who is in year 11 at school, the final year of her GCSEs, said this was an extra stress on top of an illness that she was finding difficult to deal with.
“Sometimes it is hard to cope. I sleep all of the time and wake up in pain. All I want to do is sleep. I have become pretty anti-social since it happened.
“Because of my condition, I can rarely attend school and I have had weeks where I can’t attend at all due to exhaustion.
“I can’t do simple things with my family. I won’t be able to go out with them and pick out a Christmas tree – which is something I do every year.
“I’m isolated at home and this is making me really angry and upset.”
Abbey’s mum Suzanne, 38, said it has been hard work to try to get a wheelchair.
“It is like we are fighting constantly to get her the help she needs.
“If they were to let her have this wheelchair, finally it would be one thing we would be one thing we will not have to worry about and I don’t know how much longer hers will last.
“I think any parent would do anything for their child – all I can do is keep fighting her corner.”
Suzanne said the whole family – her, her husband Simon and their other two children Chloe and Ryan – help to care for Abbey as a family.
Suzanne added: “This illness is quite heartbreaking. It is one of these things they are just starting to recognise. When you are living it everyday with that person you suddenly realise how bad it is.”
A spokesperson for Leicester’s Hospitals said: “We are really sorry for the confusion we have caused Abbey and her family. We know how frustrating it must be that we have not explained our processes clearly.
“At her appointment next week we will talk through with Abbey and her family, what Abbey’s needs are and what the next stages of her care will be.”
To help raise awareness of the illness Abbey has opened a web page and a twitter account @CFSMEAwareness.