A Blackpool woman’s dream of independence has turned into a nightmare after six months of hell with a mobility scooter.
Former RAF woman Elizabeth Fisk has been left angry and frustrated after constant trouble with the scooter which she bought new for £850.
Mrs Fisk, 46, has the debilitating hereditary condition spinocerebellar ataxia which gets progressively worse and causes a range of mobility, co-ordination and communication problems.
She was forced to quit the RAF after she started becoming deaf and then give up her job in the Midlands and move back to live near her mother in Blackpool as her condition worsened.
Her hopes for a more independent lifestyle were raised when she got the small, four wheel scooter but it soon began to break down on a regular basis.
She said: “It is so disappointing. It has been back to the shop four times since I got it six months ago and they have been out to look at it lots of times too.
“They said I should have a ramp at my flat but I have not been able to get one put in because some of the neighbours would not give permission.
“The shop said it is because it needs a ramp because it does not like going down steps.
“I can’t leave it outside because it needs to charge up overnight and it might get wet.
“I need it to get around as I can’t walk far anymore.”
She said her condition began to take effect when she was 32 and noticed she was having trouble hearing.
She had to leave the RAF and worked for a pharmaceutical company. Her driving licence was eventually withdrawn and she had to give up work.
Eric Dixon from A1 Mobility who sold the scooter said it was a light design which was not recommended for using on steps.
He said: “I fully understand Mrs Fisk’s frustration but there is nothing more we can do to help her.
“She has not got the strength to lift the scooter as a result it keeps being bashed about underneath.
“We have been out to repair it many times and had it in here free of charge, but she knew from the start she needed to get a ramp. For some reason she had not been able to do that and the step to her doors is too high for the scooter.”
He added that scooters could not be left outside, even under a tarpaulin, since condensation and salt air affects the printed circuit boards inside.
He said: “When architects design housing for people with disabilities they should take into account ramps and proper shelters to keep scooters.”