Campaign to get Heeley woman Tina back on her wheels after flat fire

A wheelchair user has launched a campaign to buy a new mobility scooter for a woman who lost hers in a fire.

Thursday, 25th February 2016, 06:06 am
Updated Thursday, 25th February 2016, 12:30 pm
Tina Atherton who had her wheelchair set alight

Tina Atherton, aged 50, was asleep in her flat on Derby Street, Heeley, when she was woken by her smoke alarm on the morning of January 9.

She struggled to her feet to discover her mobility scooter, parked on her balcony, was in flames.

Tina called 999 and desperately fumbled around in thick smoke for her keys. She managed to open her door but in her disorientation she fell on her arm, breaking her shoulder.

Police believe the fire was caused by thieves tampering with the scooter.

The damage to her flat means Tina, who suffers from depression and several medical conditions, has not been able to return. And without her scooter, she has lost her independence.

She said: “My scooter was my lifeline, and I spent more than £2,000 making the flat suitable. It was the first time I had lived on my own in 10 years.

“I keep having flashbacks and hallucinations because of the stress. I tried to struggle on and put a face on and laugh and joke but I couldn’t keep it up.

“It will take more than six months to get my flat back to what it was.”

Wheelchair user Danny Longmore, was so moved by her story he set up a campaign to raise £1,000 for a new scooter.

Tina said: “I can’t believe he’s even doing this for me.

“He doesn’t even know me. No-one has ever done anything like this for me before. I just can’t believe it. I haven’t got enough words to thank him.”

Danny, 29, who suffers from juvenile idiopathic arthritis, who runs the Pimp My Wheelchair project, said “I hope to get as close to £1,000 as possible.”