Paralysed mum: a new upset

Lucy Lowe with her children Lydia, Tilly and Barnaby outside Ottery St Mary Hospital. Ref sho 8179-2

Lucy Lowe with her children Lydia, Tilly and Barnaby outside Ottery St Mary Hospital. Ref sho 8179-22-15SH. Picture: Simon Horn - Credit: Archant

A paralysed mum-of-four says she is devastated at being refused a disability grant that was her ‘last hope’ of returning home to her family.

Lucy Lowe, 37, was left disabled after complications during surgery to remove her coccyx and has spent the past 11 months in Ottery Hospital, unable to go back home until her house has been adapted to accommodate her needs.

The St Budeaux Close resident says she applied for a Disabled Facilities Grant, which could provide up to £30,000 to help with the necessary adjustments, but was shocked to receive the news last week that she is not eligible for any money.

East Devon District Council (EDDC) issues the grants and told the Herald it is still waiting on all of the information, but admitted it is unlikely Lucy will qualify.

“I have lost my income and I have four children, so I do not know who does get these grants,” said Lucy.

“The threshold must be really low.

“We thought we would have to pay something towards adapting the house, but we have now found out we are not entitled to any help.

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“I have not been at home for 11 months and it’s a long time to be away from your family and dog.”

She added: “We do not have any other avenues to go down. This grant was our last hope and we have been turned down.”

Lucy’s four children all go to The King’s School and visit regularly, but her husband, Adrian, said it was still very difficult not having her at home.

Sales manager Adrian said: “It’s a shock to be informed that we’ve been turned down on the basis that we should be able to afford it.

“I think anyone having to come up with £30,000 would struggle.

“We have a family of six to support on one income. We have three teenagers who are all going through exams and they are doing everything they can.

“To be told we will have to get into debt to make our home liveable is beyond reasonable.

“We just want to get to a state of normality again.”

He added that the support he had received from friends, family, Ottery businesses and the whole community had been ‘amazing’.

An EDDC spokesperson said: “We are currently waiting for information from Mrs Lowe’s occupational therapist.

“At this stage, no decision has been made about a grant for adaptations to the property. However, from the information already given to us by Mrs Lowe, it seems unlikely she will qualify for this grant, as it is means tested.”

The family has been fundraising since before Christmas and received an incredible £3,000 in just 12 days to replace Lucy’s unsuitable NHS wheelchair.

The Lowes now face the huge task of having to raise around £30,000 to enable her to return home. To read more about Lucy’s story and to donate, go to:

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