Owen Picker isn’t your average Lincoln teen. As a sufferer of quadriplegic cerebral palsy, he spends his days in a vast amount of pain and can no longer walk. He will be wheelchair bound for life.
His condition means brain damage has disrupted normal muscle functioning. Most people with ‘Spastic Quadriplegia’ cannot walk and their speech is affected.
It isn’t hard to imagine the difference that being able to stand again would make to Owen’s life, and he’s hoping that kind donations will see him on the way to his dream.
Owen is hoping to raise £32,000 for a new wheelchair which with go a long way to giving him his independence and confidence back.
Sixteen-year-old Owen, who is currently studying his A-Levels at William Farr School in Welton village north of Lincoln, was born at 29 weeks and diagnosed at 18 months old.
Just three years ago, Owen was in a wheelchair but able to walk short distances. This all changed however when he was faced with further debilitating surgery.
Owen said: “I was getting hip pain and the consultant stated I required hip surgery. If I didn’t have the surgery my hips would come out of the socket and I would be in intense pain and would require surgery. This surgery however would stop me from walking and I will be wheelchair bound for life.”
Owen can no longer stand or walk and requires high levels of adult support.
Despite this, Owen describes himself as “bright, funny, articulate and intelligent.”
“I am a board member of Whizz Kidz“, he added. “It’s a charity in London to help other children with disabilities to gain wheelchair skills, work experience and to raise funds for sports wheelchairs.
“However Whizz Kidz cannot help me as they are not allowed to support Lincoln now due to the NHS restrictions.
“I get very frustrated in my wheelchair as I cannot reach things I require. I would like to be at the same height as everyone else and to be at eye level and be able to access the environment and to be independent.”
Hope for Owen is on the horizon in the form of a state-of-the-art electric wheelchair called a F5 Corpus VS.
The wheelchair is not supplied by the NHS. It is an electric indoor/outdoor machine which can stand him up and drive him from A to B.
The chair costs £24,000. With insurance and extended warranty, Owen says he is hoping to raise a total of £32,000.
“The chair would give greater independence, confidence, and self-worth and also improving my well-being. I could even get a job as the environmental barriers would be removed.
“In order to raise this huge sum of money I have approached some charities and waiting to hear back from them however they cannot fund the whole amount. My mother and I are hoping that we can raise money to assist in the purchase of the wheel chair.
“Please help me in any way you can by either donating or assisting in events. This will truly change my life.”
Owen’s campaign website ‘Stand Up For Owen‘ is now live for people to make their donations and follow the teen’s blog.