Paramedic help

Monday, 11 June, 2018

A Croydon based paramedic who has been out of work for nearly a year after suffering a devastating stroke was brought to tears after hearing her colleagues had helped raise nearly £34,000 to fund essential home adaptations.

Lesley Shaw has worked for both the South East Coast Ambulance Service (SECAmb) and London Ambulance Service (LAS) for 15 years, but has most recently been based at Croydon Ambulance Station, on Primrose Lane, Shirley.

But following a night shift in June last year, the 52-year-old suffered a devastating stroke, meaning she can no longer fulfil her duties as a frontline paramedic.

The stroke has also meant Lesley struggles to walk and look after herself on her own, and has since moved in with her elderly parents in Whyteleafe who provide all of her personal care.

Hollie Thomson-Young, a paramedic based at Croydon Ambulance Station who worked with Lesley for a number of years, launched a Just Giving page on May 1 in an attempt to raise funds to pay for essential building work and adaptations to make the home more suitable and safe for Lesley.

Mrs Thomson-Young, 33, who lives in Banstead, said: “It’s awful. As paramedics we visit patients like this all the time but you never think it will happen to someone you know or someone you care about.

“It’s still a total shock and the devastation it leaves behind is awful. To see the after affect is just as worse. We all speak to her weekly and she has a lot of close friends in the ambulance service.

“As a paramedic you regularly give up plans with friends, Christmas with family and birthdays and Lesley has done that for countless years so now we are doing something for her.”

Where Lesley is currently living with her parents, the house is not yet adapted to suit her needs.

Her father has to manually winch her into the house as it has a steep drive with no wheelchair access, and has makeshift wooden ramps to get her over the porch and into the house.

Even though they have a stair lift Lesley is unable to use it safely to get upstairs to a bedroom or bathroom, forcing Lesley to live downstairs, with the living room being turned into her bedroom.

And although the house has a downstairs toilet and shower, the wheelchair cannot fit in it so she currently has to wash at the kitchen sink.

The money raised would help make the necessary adaptations Lesley needs, and would include a wheelchair ramp and wheelchair lift on the driveway, a new porch allowing for wheelchair access and a fully adapted wet room to suit Lesley’s needs.

Everyone at Croydon Ambulance Station has been deeply touched by peoples generosity at this difficult time and are continuing with their fundraising efforts. Although they have raised an amazing amount there is still a long way to go. For work to start they need to raise a further £6,000.

If you want to read Lesley’s story or wish to donate or share her fundraising page please visit her just giving page:

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