Orla set to enjoy outdoor life, thanks to Gazette readers

Orla O'Brien

Orla O'Brien

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Thanks to the generosity of Gazette readers and a national charity, disabled teenager will soon have the special wheelchair she needs so she can get out and about with her family.

Orla O’Brien, aged 15, from Berkhamsted, has low muscle tone and epilepsy, which means she tires easily.

Although she can get round the house, she can’t walk far when she is out.

Now, thanks to the support of local fundraisers and Newlife, the charity for disabled children Orla is getting the lightweight all-terrain wheelchair she needs so she can join in outdoors.

Newlife put an initial £1,835 towards the wheelchair cost of £5,505, and Orla’s family and friends raised a further £1,872.

An appeal in The Gazette helped secure the remaining funds.

Orla’s mum, Nyree, said: “A lot of people saw the story and they will be delighted to know Orla’s wheelchair has now been fully funded.

“It is important that those people who supported the appeal know they have absolutely made a difference to Orla’s life. We really appreciate everyone’s generosity.”

She added: “We live in an area surrounded by hilly woodlands but the standard wheelchair she has now just doesn’t do off-road at all.

“Orla absolutely wants to be out in the open air, joining in with everything.

“We don’t need a powered wheelchair – we’re a family of five, plus the dog, and we all want to help her get around. This lightweight carbon-fibre manual wheelchair which can cope with a rough track and a bit of mud will be perfect.”

Orla hopes to take delivery of her new wheelchair in a few weeks’ time.