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Paralympian's request for downstairs toilet rejected

21st October 2013

This news article is from Handicare UK. Articles that appear on this website are for information purposes only.

Gold medal-winning paralympian David Weir has reportedly had a request for a home with a downstairs toilet rejected by a housing association in South London. With no downstairs toilet and no stairlift solution that can help him get upstairs, he is currently facing the difficult task of using his arms to pull himself upstairs to the bathroom.

Weir is a wheelchair athlete who has had a very successful career representing Great Britain at the Paralympic Games, winning two medals at the 2004 Paralympics in Athens, four medals at the 2008 Paralympics in Beijing and four medals at the 2012 Paralympics in London, the latter of which were all golds. As a result of his great achievements, Weir was awarded the CBE in the 2013 New Year Honours. He was born in Wallington, Sutton, and was unable to use his legs from birth due to problems with his spinal cord, but this has clearly not stopped him from working on his passions and excelling at competitions.

Although Weir has achieved incredible successes outside the home, as a wheelchair user he faces a number of difficulties inside. Whilst certain mobility aids can help with tasks such as showering, the stairs are still a problem for him, particularly as the toilet of his home is located upstairs. Weir's fiancee, Emily Thorne, told journalists that the housing association have refused to provide a house that has a downstairs toilet on the estate that he grew up on for fear of favouritism, but she is concerned that he is “risking a recurring shoulder injury” by dragging himself upstairs so often.

Whilst a spokesperson for the housing association has said that they are "close to resolving his housing requirements", installing a stairlift in his current home could be the best solution for David Weir if his housing association in South London is unable to provide him with an adapted home that has a downstairs toilet.

 

Image Credit: Stuart Grout (flickr.com)