'Wheelchair assembled via Zoom' - how Covid has hurt Isaac and his family

Isaac Davis, who lives in Norwich, suffers from Duchenne muscular dystrophy

Isaac Davis, who lives in Norwich, has Duchenne muscular dystrophy - Credit: Muscular Dystrophy UK

A mother has told how she had to assemble her son's new wheelchair via Zoom as the Covid pandemic and lockdown took a terrible toll on his mental and physical health.

Isaac Davis, from Norwich, lives with a form of muscular dystrophy called Duchenne.

The condition usually affects only boys, with around 100 born with it each year across the UK. 

And the impact of the Covid crisis has only exacerbated Isaac's struggles, as he and his mum, Lauren, face challenges they could never have foreseen. 

Isaac Davis, who lives in Norwich, suffers from Duchenne muscular dystrophy

Isaac Davis, who lives in Norwich, has Duchenne muscular dystrophy - Credit: Muscular Dystrophy UK

“It’s been really difficult," said Miss Davis.


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"I know it’s been hard for parents with healthy children, but parents with children who have extra needs have been asked to be teachers, nurses, physios, doctors, cleaners and cooks, as well as parents.

“At one point I had to try and put Isaac’s new wheelchair together on a Zoom call to wheelchair services, and find all the relevant tools which some people may not have in their house.

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"We ended up with a wheelchair the same size due to not being able to assess him over the phone."

With in-person appointments regularly cancelled, video calls were to become the norm for the family.

And despite his best efforts, Issac found it difficult to adapt. 

“Isaac didn't cope with video calls at all, so we had to postpone some of our appointments," added Miss Davis.

"Because of this we are only now getting a test in two weeks’ time that Isaac needed two years ago.

“Getting hold of consultants for advice can be hard enough at the best of times. I don't think enough has been done to ensure people get back to their appointments.

“We are still struggling to get appointments with our GP, yet it’s safe for 60,000 people to watch a football game. That absolutely baffles me."

In a recent survey carried out by Muscular Dystrophy UK, 68pc of respondents living with a muscle-wasting condition said lockdown and shielding had a negative impact on their physical health.

Sixty-two per cent said it had detrimentally impacted their mental health, while three in four experienced disruption to accessing specialist clinical appointments.

On Wednesday, (July 21), the charity is presenting its findings and recommendations to an All-Party Parliamentary Group.

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