Brave Clitheroe amputee's desperate plea for help to fund life-changing wheelchair
A Clitheroe mum-of-three who recently had her lower left leg amputated has issued a heartfelt plea for donations to buy a specialist wheelchair that will help to gain back her independence.
Clare Sutcliffe (42), is appealing for generous people in the Ribble Valley to support her cause to buy an electric wheelchair enabling her to get out of the house without assistance and to move around more freely.
Clare, who is married to Graham and is mum to Sol, Lilly and Teddy, underwent a left below knee amputation in September after being involved in a serious road traffic accident three years ago. She sustained significant injuries to her groin and left ankle and has been in severe pain for the past three years.
The pain in her ankle has got worse with time limiting her mobility and affecting her quality of life. She was diagnosed with late stages of avascular necrosis of the talus bone in her ankle as a result of the severe damage caused by the accident. Over the past three years Clare has seen multiple medical specialists and has undergone two surgical procedures prior to the amputation.
Clare, who works in the emergency department as an advanced nurse practitioner at Airedale NHS Trust, said: "There are expenses which come with living life as an amputee, simple things like wheelchairs help me on a daily basis. For the past three years I have loaned an electric wheelchair, which has greatly helped me to get out of the house to meet friends, simply nip to the shops and prevent me from being stuck inside the house. Mentally, this has been a lifesaver! To have one of my own would be amazing so I can always have the independence I long to keep forever."
In three weeks time Clare, a former pupil of Ribblesdale High School, will receive her first NHS prosthetic limb and begin learning to walk again. However, in the meantime, her best friend Joanne Cranham has launched a justgiving page to fund a new electric wheelchair. The fundraising page was set up only a few days ago and has already achieved £1,285 in donations from almost 50 kind supporters - the target is £2,000.
Clare, who has recently gained a master's degree in advanced practice at Huddersfield University, added: "Having this amputation was not a choice made lightly. Who would wish for an amputation? Surgeons do not just cut off limbs because you want them too. I underwent numerous tests, X-rays, scans, surgeries, orthotics, psychiatric tests and therapy before amputation was considered."
Looking to the future, she said: "I remain positive, my eye is on the future, a challenging journey I know, but the outcome is running, hiking, boxing and working full duties in the A&E department. Advanced technology in prosthetics has come a long way, any extra would go towards a blade as I hope to one day run again.
"Please donate what you can, a small amount would help make a huge difference towards reaching the target. And never underestimate the gift of walking."
Anyone wishing to pledge support is asked to CLICK HERE