'Trapped' Plymouth cancer patient Vicki is finally set free
A WOMAN dying of cancer said she is "overwhelmed" to be given stair climbing equipment following a desperate appeal for help in The Herald.
Vicki Harris, aged 38, of Ham, said the powered stair climber is giving her freedom from being trapped inside her first-floor flat.
The portable unit enables her three sisters Dawn, Sharon and Bev to lift her up the 19 steps to her home.
The trio had previously had to struggle to carry Vicki and her wheelchair up and down the communal staircase.
The mum of two, who needs 24-hour care, was becoming increasingly confined to her Plymouth Community Homes flat due to difficulty tackling the steps to her front door.
The family launched a £5,000 fundraising drive for a climber, arranged events and appealed for support in The Herald in August.
After the story appeared in our pages, Plymouth Community Homes have stepped in to cover the cost of renting a stair climber and training Vicki's three sisters so they can safely assist her.
The sisters are donating the £2,000 raised to St Luke's Hospice.
Vicki has been given only months to live due to cervical cancer which has spread to her bones and lungs.
She said: "The stair climber is brilliant. I'm over the moon with it.
"It's so much help to be able to get out and come back without being a problem."
Her sister Sharon, aged 40, who lives next door to Vicki, thanked everyone who has helped.
Plymouth Community Homes funded the equipment in consultation with Julie Turner a mobility advisor for Pluss mobility centre.
Sharon said: "We are absolutely amazed and overwhelmed by the support we have received. We can't thank people enough.
"Everyone has benefited in the end. Vicki has got what she needs and we are able to donate money to charity.
"We are so grateful Plymouth Community Homes has helped us."
She added that Vicki's two sons also want to thank supporters. Kye, aged 17, and 18-year-old Mitchell have lived with their father in Plymouth since their mother was disabled by the brain haemorrhage in 2007.
She was diagnosed with terminal cancer in May this year.
A thank you event was held at Plymouth Social Club last Friday.
John Orr, Plymouth Community Homes head of asset and programme management, said: "We were happy to be able to work with our partners to offer Vicki the stair walker and we hope it gives her some comfort and freedom."
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