A CRY for help has been issued by a Solihull MS sufferer who’s been left without vital physio due to Covid-19.
Graham Brown has suffered from multiple sclerosis for 26 years and requires regular physiotherapy to keep his muscles stretched.
However since coronavirus struck visits from a physiotherapist and occupational therapist have ceased and regular exercise classes at Solihull’s Parkview Centre have halted due to Covid-19 restrictions.
These were organised by the Solihull MS Society, which, unable to fundraise for eight months, has also had to curtail its activities.
In the intervening period the effect has been devastating on Graham, leaving the pensioner wheelchair bound and unable to stand.
“Normally we have exercise classes on Tuesdays and Thursdays but we have not been able to go due to coronavirus,” said the 75 year-old.
“The physio last came out in February and haven’t been since leaving me stuck in a wheelchair.”
His wife Janet added he had also spent 15 days in hospital: “Previously he could stand, but he’s lost that now.”
The couple said they had tried to go through their local doctor’s surgery to get help but had struggled with its telephone referral system and are desperate for a face-to face consultation.
Caron Jordan, lead support officer of Solihull MS Society, said like so many charities the local branch was thousands of pounds out of pocket because it couldn’t fund raise.
“We are all volunteers and we normally do such a lot, flag days and supermarket collections, charity nights, auctions, our fundraising ball and Blythe Valley Half Marathon, but not this year,” she said.
In addition their transport to and from exercise classes and days out was also off the road due to Covid-19 and even online physio classes had to be restricted so the trainer could properly see people exercising.
“The thing is, you cannot over emphasise the importance of exercise in people with MS to keep those muscles stretched,” she said.
Paul Jennings, chief executive of NHS Birmingham and Solihull Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) said: “The impact of Covid-19 has affected all parts of the NHS and we are very sorry to hear that Mr Brown has had difficulty accessing the physiotherapy and occupational therapy services he needs.
“We would welcome a conversation with him, to ensure he has the right support in place, and that he is aware of the services available to him, during these unprecedented times.”