Andy Gardner has worked in the electrical industry since leaving school and is currently employed as an estimating manager for an electronics company.In 2005 his son Joshua, who was eight at the time, was diagnosed with Transverse Myelitis, which is a spinal injury resulting from a viral condition. Joshua requires a wheelchair to get around and was provided with a standard NHS chair which was not ideal for a young boy striving to remain as mobile and active as possible.
Andy contacted EEIBA to request assistance for the purchase of a bespoke chair which would give his son much more independence and enable him to achieve his goals in life. A keen sports fan, Joshua plays wheelchair basketball for the Leeds Spiders and has also taken a keen interest in wheelchair track racing, and the charity was able to help provide the specialised wheelchair he needed.
Joshua is now 14 years old and inevitably has grown considerably, so his day and sports chairs both needed replacing. Funding was provided via a combination of the sale of his old chairs, plus assistance from his Primary Care Trust, the Lords Taverners, FNAIST and EEIBA. He now has his new wheelchairs which enable him to continue with his day-to-day life and sporting activities, which now includes rugby with Leeds Rhinos Wheelchair Rugby League.
Andy said, ‘The help, advice and support we’ve received from EEIBA has been fantastic and not only makes a huge difference to Joshua’s mobility on a daily basis, but also means he can enjoy participating in the sports he loves.’