LIFE changed in an instant when David Cameron suffered a stroke last January.
His wife Margaret, 78, wouldn’t ‘‘buy it’’ when doctors said her husband, 82, wouldn’t be coming home.
But their confidence living at home has vanished after a thief broke in to their Gateshead abode and stole the specifically designed wheelchair that gave them freedom.
‘‘I just couldn’t understand why they would take a wheelchair,’’ Mrs Cameron said.
The family believe the thief, who also stole a chainsaw and whipper snipper from the shed adjacent to their parents’ house, used it to transport the other stolen goods.
Mr Cameron is unable to speak clearly because the stroke caused aphasia, but when the Newcastle Herald asked how he felt about the break in – which happened while he and his wife were at home – his face crumpled and tears rolled from his previously twinkling eyes.
‘‘He’s not normally a cryer,’’ Mrs Cameron said. ‘‘The face says it all, it was just a terrible shock.’’
Now they jump at any kind of noise, she said. ‘‘One minute you’ve got a husband that looks after you then all of a sudden I’ve got to do everything for David... I don’t mind doing it because I love him but in a crises like this...I couldn’t handle it at all,’’ Mrs Cameron said.
Without the wheelchair, which was built to accommodate Mr Cameron’s paralysed arm, the couple feel like prisoners.
The wheelchair was provided by government funded Enable NSW.
Mrs Cameron said Enable told her she needed to provide a police report for the chair to be covered by the organisation’s insurance.
But NSW police no longer provide incident reports, and the ‘‘event number’’ the police provide instead isn’t accepted by the NSW health body.
Meanwhile the Camerons are hoping someone will bring the wheelchair back from ‘‘the wilderness’’. ‘‘No one would want it, but we need it,’’ Mrs Cameron said.
Enable NSW did not provide a response to the Herald.
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