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Hersden boy Isaac McIntosh sent home from hospital without wheelchair

A nine-year-old boy from Hersden who developed a condition which left him unable to stand was sent home from hospital without a wheelchair.

Isaac McIntosh was forced to drag himself around on the floor until the Red Cross was able to supply him with a rickety old one.

Mum Natasha says red tape prevented Isaac, who was diagnosed with joint hypermobility syndrome, from receiving a modern chair from the hospital when he left it on March 13.

Natasha Mcintosh and her son Isaac, 9, who suffered a knee injury
Natasha Mcintosh and her son Isaac, 9, who suffered a knee injury

The 41-year-old, of The Avenue, said: “We just found it appalling that the hospital sent him home without a wheelchair.

“I asked the Wheelchair Service why he hadn’t been given one and they said it was because they hadn’t received a referral for one.

“They later said it was because they thought Isaac wouldn’t need one for as long as six months so therefore didn’t qualify for one.

“I felt like we were trapped in some sort of bureaucratic mess.

"We just found it appalling that the hospital sent him home without a wheelchair... I felt like we were trapped in some sort of bureaucratic mess..." - Natasha McIntosh

“But what it meant was that I had to pull the car right up to the house and carry in him in. Then he dragged himself around the floor and up to the sofa if he wanted to sit down.

“I would have to pick him up even though I suffer with a bad back.”

The Red Cross eventually supplied Isaac with a chair on March 16.

But Natasha revealed that after KentOnline's sister paper the Kentish Gazette contacted the trust to ask about Isaac, the Wheelchair Service at the hospital rang her to apologise and to arrange for a modern chair to be delivered to him.

She hopes it means it he will be able to resume his education at the village primary school.

Isaac’s troubles began in early February when he began to struggle with walking and putting pressure on his legs.

He was first given crutches, but then found he couldn’t walk at all.

He was seen by a dozen doctors – four at a local health centre and eight at hospitals – over five weeks before he was eventually diagnosed as having hypermobility syndrome by paediatrician Dr Jan Stanek at the QEQM Hospital in Margate.

Isaac is double jointed
Isaac is double jointed

Joint hypertension mobility syndrome is often called being double-jointed and in Isaac’s case he can bend joints far more than other people. But it can create stiffness and pain in joints as well as swelling.

Natasha says she is mystified as to why it took so to detect it.

“It does seem disgusting that it took so long,” said Natasha, who also lives with husband Traice, 34, and daughter Tia, 13.

“We are just very grateful to Dr Stanek, who has been absolutely brilliant. Isaac should be going through physiotherapy and aquatic therapy to get better.”

Isaac demonstrating his double joints
Isaac demonstrating his double joints

The East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust did not answer questions about why Isaac was not given a wheelchair.

Referring to his condition, spokesman Matthew Hogg said: “Diagnosis of conditions like hypermobility syndrome can take some time to complete, as a number of other possible causes must be ruled out first through tests and scans.

“These scans found no disease or illness causing Isaac’s condition and he was referred to the children’s physiotherapy service for treatment.

“Whilst hypermobility syndrome could have been suspected earlier, it could not have been fully diagnosed without the results of his tests and scans.”


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