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King's Lynn Motor Neurone group gets money for chairs

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The Alan Boswell Group Charitable Trust has made a donation of £8,500 to the King's Lynn Group of the Motor Neurone Disease Association, to fund special riser recliner chairs.

Typically there are about 20 people living with MND in West Norfolk at any one time and this donation will make a huge difference for many of them over the next year or so.

The Lynn group receives requests for chairs for about 10 people living with MND each year. Chairs cost about £850 each, but some require special support adaptions, such as neck support, or lateral movement support, so may cost more.

Pam Trezise with Nina and her brother in riser recliner chair (56192645)
Pam Trezise with Nina and her brother in riser recliner chair (56192645)

Chairperson, Jane Lewis, said “Grants for riser-recliner chairs are the most frequently requested item for our branch and hugely appreciated by people living with MND.

"Chairs are requested by a health care professional, such as an Occupational Therapist, to ensure that they are appropriate.”

MND can progress very rapidly, attacking the nerves and leaving people unable to walk, talk, eat and ultimately breathe.

There is no effective treatment or cure. Each person with MND has slightly different symptoms, but most will benefit from a riser recliner chair at some stage.

MND infographic (56192783)
MND infographic (56192783)

They enable people to sit more comfortably and help to preserve a degree of dignity and independence. If people are losing the use of their arms or legs, they can adjust their own position without summoning help or waiting for a carer to call.

The chairs will also safely lift them almost to a standing position, making it much easier to transfer to bed or wheelchair. This is a huge benefit to family carers, preventing strain or injury to the essential caregiver and increases the chance of remaining at home.

Nina Hicks, daughter of Pam Trezise, explained the impact of a chair for her mother.

“Mum’s riser-recliner was a god send. As she was so short, it allowed her to sit up and look out of the window which she loved to do.

"All the kids waved every morning on their way to school. And Mum loved it. She could check the garden, whilst instructing me where to weed. And could see her best friend opposite, every day during lockdown.

"It gave her joy and comfort. The carers loved it too, as it assisted them no end.”

Nina added: “Pam was an operating theatre matron at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital. She was extremely organised and was not to be crossed. The surgeons were terrified of her and anyone who knows surgeons knows they hate to be wrong. Mum would put them straight!

"She was extremely respected in her career and trained to be the top of her chosen path. She didn’t retire until she was 68, which is why her diagnosis was so hard for her.

"She always said 'I will live till I’m 90!' She will, even though she’s gone, she lives on in all of us, and no one will forget Mum. Losing her independence was very hard for her, but myself, her son and her sister allowed her to still instruct us on what she needed. She was more than bossy and we knew it.

"She was determined not to lose her ability to speak as so many people do, and she didn’t. She was still telling me off two days before she flew.

"She was a tiny woman but a huge presence as anyone in the MND group will tell you, she never lost her ability to speak her mind. We allowed her to hold onto her independence until the end, she wanted to be home and Tapping House Hospice allowed that to happen. She wanted to know every detail of her prognosis- the MND Association and Dr Hienseck made sure nothing was kept from her.

"She fought like a warrior and I can still see her sitting in her chair moaning about the noisy bloody seagulls.

"I kept her chair for a long time, it was her chair. It was the last thing I let go of. Her feet would dangle, as she was so short and she would tap the footrest like a servants bell.

"!I cannot and will never be able to thank the MND Association for everything they did to make Mum’s journey easier. They are true heroes and Mum was very lucky to have them. And so am I still."

A long-established independent insurance and financial planning group, with a head office in Norwich and seven offices in the East of England, the Alan Boswell charitable trust makes grants to benefit local people.

The Lynn MND group is run entirely by volunteers, and arranges fundraising events in order to respond to local requests for financial support towards MND association care or quality of life grants, for equipment and support which are not provided by statutory services.

It has two association visitors who offer practical and emotional support to people living with MND and their families.

They attend local clinics alongside health care professionals, to provide ongoing support and make initial contact with people at diagnosis.

It arranges support meetings to enable people with MND and their families to meet each other, although at present these are provided online.

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