Mother’s plea for help to buy wheelchair

Karen Tompkins with her daughter Kathryn.
Karen Tompkins with her daughter Kathryn.

A wheelchair-bound mum with a deteriorating spine condition is appealing for help in a last bid to alleviate her pain and transform her life.

Karen Tompkins’ friends and family members have rallied together over the past year and raised almost £2,300 towards a fund to replace her broken wheelchair.

Alison Key and Trevor Dyke held a sponsored silence in aid of Karen Tompkins' new wheelchair fund.

Alison Key and Trevor Dyke held a sponsored silence in aid of Karen Tompkins' new wheelchair fund.

She only needs just over £600 more to raise the total amount needed, but she’s not sure how much longer she can cope with the pain caused when using her existing wheelchair.

“I spend days unable to do anything and the painkillers, although they combat some of the pain, at times it is to much to bear and I feel as though I am going out of my mind,” explained Karen, 38, who lives in Walsoken with her husband Ben, her full-time carer, and her “miracle baby” daughter Kathryn, 15.

“I hate passing out because of the pain and finding out I was out and about when it happened and other people, friends and strangers alike, witness what happens to me. I get so upset and embarrassed because I can’t control my own body anymore.”

Karen was born with complications to her hip, but it was only as a child did doctors discover problems with her spine.

She had trouble walking, and although it would hurt at times, she was able to cope with everyday life with the help of crutches and walking sticks.

By the time she was a teenager her right leg had started to give way and in 1998, in a fall at work, she broke her ankle and damaged her right knee.

Two years later she had recovered to the point of using a walking frame, and then fell pregnant with her then partner and faced dealing with the worst news yet.