Whitmore meets with Arklow’s Leo in Dáil campaigning for a wheelchair

Social Democrats TD for Wicklow Jennifer Whitmore met with Arklow boy, Leo Dixon, and his family in Leinster House as they campaigned for a wheelchair and other disability supports. Leo, a nine year-old boy from Arklow, attended the Dáil yesterday with his family to demonstrate the state of his temporary wheelchair.

Leo Dixon has a rare form of Bethlem myopathy muscular dystrophy, which is a progressive muscle wasting disease with no cure and no treatment. The family were invited to the Dáil by Wexford Independent TD Verona Murphy to explain how Leo’s temporary wheelchair is not fit for his needs.

“I was delighted to have the opportunity to meet Leo and his family who have campaigned so hard to draw attention to their difficulties trying to access a new wheelchair that is fit for purpose for their son. Leo and his family have been waiting for a new chair since April 2021 when he was fitted with a substandard temporary wheelchair. Leo can’t manoeuvre the chair as it is too heavy for his use and the brakes don’t work. At this point it’s a health and safety risk and needs to be addressed urgently” says Whitmore.

“Despite all this, Leo is full of energy and a delightful kid who just wants to get on with life. His family just want the best for Leo. But they are not the only ones. So many other children and families are in similar situations and it shouldn’t take campaigning for a response from government.

“I have requested to the Minister that he address Leo and his family’s needs and address the lack of disability supports overall for families needing new equipment and a range of disability supports for their children” concludes Whitmore.

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