Monday, March 11, 2013
A HOUSEBOUND 53-year-old from Sidmouth says he has been handed back his freedom by a kind-hearted widow who gifted him a mobility scooter.
Crippling arthritis in both of his feet left Andi Charge unable to walk more than just a few yards without being in excruciating pain.
He underwent an operation last year but still struggled to leave his Lymebourne Park home without the help of his devoted wife Liz.
The condition had already forced Andi to give up his career of 20 years as a golf club house manager.
“I went from a sociable job where I met people all the time to virtually being housebound,” he said.
The granddad-of-10 felt down in the dumps when Liz spotted an advert for the Joe Gilson Mobility Scheme in the Herald.
The charity, which strives to secure mobility aids for those who need them, was launched by Carol Gilson in memory of her late husband.
Carol’s gift to Andi was the 58th scooter she has given out.
“It’s brilliant,” said Andi. “ Now I can whizz down through The Byes and around the town.
“It will change my life and gives me back my freedom.
“I can’t thank Carol enough, without her I’d be stuck in the house all the time.
“It’s nice just to go and look at the sea – it gets me out of the house and relieves the boredom.”
“It’s already given him a bit of independence,” said Liz.
“He couldn’t even go to the shops and buy a paper before.”
Carol said of Andi: “He was a really lovely man and very grateful.”