COUNTY NEWS: Double-amputee trapped in home for five months in ramp saga
A double-amputee has been trapped in her home for five months while she waits for a ramp to reconnect her to the outside world.
Diabetes sufferer Barbara Samuels surprised doctors with her fast recovery after both her legs were amputated below the knee last year.
Since leaving hospital in February, she has been unable to get a temporary ramp installed outside her house in Jays Close, Littlehampton before it is properly adapted, stranding her inside.
The 76-year-old said: “I feel disgusted really. I have got myself better rather than laying in bed and doing nothing, because I would have died. I got myself motivated and did what I can but I feel like I wasted my time.”
Now she is a wheelchair user, Barbara’s bungalow has to be adapted. She asked West Sussex County Council to install a temporary ramp in the meantime, but there has been no progress.
Barbara was reduced to fashioning a makeshift ramp out of a door so she could sit in her garden. But three weeks ago it flipped over and she hit her head on paving slabs, requiring 999 assistance.
And after a hospital visit, the retired caterer was stuck outside for two hours last Sunday evening before paramedics got her indoors.
During her interview with the Gazette, the former Londoner dabbed at a wound on her arm caused by her narrow bedroom doorframe.
Her friend Louisa Light, 65, said: “I wouldn’t want to live here. You don’t expect people who have lost both their legs to be treated like this.”
Having been diagnosed with diabetes 12 years ago, a toe amputation led to her right leg being removed in September and her left leg in December. An infection in her right leg was treated by maggots eating the pus – but she made a full recovery.
A West Sussex County Council spokesperson said: “We have recommended a number of long term adaptions to the lady’s home. We are in contact with Arun District Council as that is the relevant authority to carry out the adaptions.
“We are providing support as we know there has been a change in the family’s living arrangements with the lady recently. A care package has been put in place and we continue to monitor how she is getting on.
“We are currently looking to see if there is a short term solution to the ramp until the longer term adaptions can be made.”