Weʼre raising £20,000 to Help Alex get mobility vehicle and spend time with his children
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Alex does not qualify for a mobility vehicle. I have exhausted every avenue trying to solve this issue, it’s injust but it is the case. Our only option is to raise money for Alex to buy a vehicle that he is able to use to spend time out of a care home with his children.
Without a vehicle Alex, a 39-year-old father of 4, is restricted to a care home environment as his only option of seeing and spending time with his children.
Living happily in France, raising our 4 young children together, none of us expected that our lives would be shattered in October 2011, when Alex Wood, 32, suffered a severe traumatic brain injury. Indescribable pain and grief flooded our lives. Alex is now blind, severely cognitively impaired, in a wheelchair and requires 24/7 care.
For a small amount of time we had a mobility vehicle, but benefit changes have meant Alex no longer is eligible.
The different environments Alex gets to be involved in, the normal environments and places we all take for granted; he cannot access the world outside the care home. He cannot spend time with his children in any other environment than the care home. In fact, getting out of house, into the car that befits you choosing your destination, mapping out your route, freedom to travel where you want, when you want, it’s something we all take for granted, it’s a given. Alex doesn’t have this ‘privilege’. He is restricted to a room in a care home 1 hour away from his family, whom he adores.
Our children wish to describle what having a vehicle meant for their relationship with their dad:
Monty (14) “it makes interaction with dad and as a family easier, we have more to do and better places to interact. Being in the care home is a constant reminder of what happened to dad, it’s easier to deal with when we are distracted and in other environments together. Without a mobility vehicle it means we can’t show him where we’ve made our home, he can’t come to my football matches or come to the beach. It’s horrific what’s happening to him. I’m also really worried about him now, he’s not happy and he’s more alone than ever and isolated in a care home”
Lola (13) “having the car means dad spends more and better time with us. We can take him places we all enjoy. I wanted him to come to my parents’ evening because he’s my dad, now he’s being excluded. I just want him at home, too, to snuggle up on the sofa with him and watch a film.”
Mitzi (11) “now he has to be stuck inside a room, that’s not fair- we’re not stuck inside a room, we can go out! Dad can’t go anywhere now. Now we can’t have family trips out, we can’t take him to the beach where he loves. We can’t have as much fun with daddy, he can’t have any fun with us now. He can’t even do the school run, I loved it when my dad picked me and my friends up from school.”
Esmie (9) “before we had the car, we weren’t able to take him anywhere. He loves the beach and we can do that now. He loves being with his friends and walking the dog with us. It’s made me feel really, really sad for my daddy. I like to take dad places because it makes him happy, now we can’t. It’s unfair, I want to take my daddy places”
A motability vehicle means that we are enabled as a family not to just be confined to a care home, a completely inappropriate and entirely unnatural environment for the children to spend time with their dad.
With a vehicle: Alex gets to be outside, to feel the sea air, to hear his children laughing (and squabbling) on the beach/at the park/ on walks/ in a cafe. He is enabled to spend time with his family in other environments and thus enabled to experience different things and be involved in his young family’s life.
Every day that goes by without the vehicle means a deprivation of Alex’s freedom, his restriction to a care home; an unnatural environment where he is now forced to remain. The inability for us as a family to go anywhere together. The inability for Alex to participate in his children growing up, without a vehicle he is completely institutionalised.
Thank you for reading this, for sharing, for your support. It would change Alex‘s life for the better having a vehicle he can travel in with his children.
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Tamsyn Wood started crowdfunding