Pensioner losing use of her legs as broken lift saga nears 200th day

Jean Edwards (seated) with her daughter-in-law Veronica
Jean Edwards (seated) with her daughter-in-law Veronica

A pensioner is losing the use of her legs as the lift in her retirement home has now been broken for 28 weeks.

This paper spoke to 85-year-old Jean Edwards in December when she was being carried by two relatives up and down the stairs to her first-floor room at Sharman Beer Court in Thame.

But 20 weeks later, Jean spends most of her time in a wheelchair and without being able to walk around the home, she is losing feeling in her feet.

Jean said: “Use it or lose it they say. I have practically lost the use of my feet and my legs.”

Since Jean’s back operation, her daughter-in-law Veronica Edwards, 53, travels 20 miles from Ambrosden to help lift Jean up and down the stairs.

She said: “Jean says things like ‘I’d rather be dead’.

“She needed rehabilitation classes but hasn’t been able to go. It’s really affecting her confidence and her health.”

Veronica has some time to help Jean having just set up a foot health business. But it is the feet of her mother-in-law she is most concerned about.

Jean said: “It’s worse than being in a prison. I think it’s damn disgusting, it’s terrible.”

Jean is among a dozen residents living on the first and second floors of the building.

Her doctor James Weir is said to be ‘fuming about the situation’.

In December, Sanctuary Housing, which own the home, said it would ‘ensure the matter is resolved as quickly as possible’ and at the same time Thame’s MP John Howell described the delay as ‘unacceptable’.

Yesterday, a spokesman for the housing firm said: “Following the consultation, which we are legally obliged to follow, residents agreed and selected a contractor to carry out the lift replacement.

“The lift is being made and installation works are set to begin on the 19th May.

“Rest assured, we have involved residents fully throughout the process and they are aware of the timescales involved.”