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Cabbies’ wheelchair fundraiser for Canonbury cycle crash victim who is ‘forced to crawl’

PUBLISHED: 07:00 21 September 2016 | UPDATED: 14:28 21 September 2016

Alex Doodle inside their flat in Englefield Rd. (Picture: Polly Hancock).

Alex Doodle inside their flat in Englefield Rd. (Picture: Polly Hancock).

Archant

Black cabbies are raising money to buy an electric wheelchair for a disabled customer who currently has to “crawl” to and from their taxis.

Black cabbies are raising money to buy an electric wheelchair for a disabled customer who currently has to “crawl” to and from their taxis.

Alex Doodle, 44, has been on the lengthy waiting list for three months. The architecture graduate, who is gender neutral, has relied on black cabs to get around since losing the ability to walk in a cycling collision in Essex Road seven years ago.

But the costs, coupled with their mental healthcare bill, means they have had to survive on full fat milk since November.

And after sharing their story with driver Terry Vaus, who watched them “crawl” from his cab last month, the cabbie called on the close-knit community to raise £3,000 for a chair.

“I feel like a prisoner in my own home,” Alex told the Gazette. “To have the freedom to go out when I want would be life-changing.”

To make matters worse, Alex lives in a first floor flat in Englefield Road, Canonbury, because wheelchair-accessible homes are so scarce (they made up just 28 of the 2,000 council properties let in the last two years). The two Alex was offered by housing association Family Mosaic were turned down on medical advice.

The council helped Alex get crutches and undergo physiotherapy to use them, but they still have to stumble up and down the stairs, causing up to 15 falls a week. “My neighbour has found me unconscious a number of times,” Alex added.

“I spend all my money on taxis and mental health services so I haven’t been able to eat since November, but drivers have been bringing me baby food. I get full off half a jar – I’ve been living off full fat milk.”

Terry said: “I’ve picked up Alex a couple of times and we got chatting about their life.

“When I dropped them off I offered to help but they didn’t want me to. I watched them crawling along the wall. They’ve been pushed from pillar to post. So I posted about it on our Save Our Black Taxis Facebook group and it went from there.”

Islington’s health boss Cllr Janet Burgess said she was sorry to hear of Alex’s situation and was doing what she could to help, including offering in-home adaptations and mental healthcare.

She said: “I would urge Alex to engage with our services so we can ensure they have all the support they need.

“While we are building new homes for disabled tenants, demand for properties vastly outweighs supply.”

Donate to Alex’s appeal here.


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