A 23 year old carer has launched a petition for some essential hoisting mobility equipment at Manchester Airport.
The petition, set up by Lauren Senior, a full time carer for her teenage brother, has nearly 2,000 signatures to date.
Lauren and her brother, who is 17 and has Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, a degenerate condition, dreads the journey whenever they fly out of the airport.
Whilst Manchester Airport does not have the hoist, Heathrow and Gatwick do. Therefore, the petition is to urge Manchester to invest in the equipment, which will make disabled passengers’ transfers more comfortable and dignified.
Having contacted the airport’s Operations Manager for Outsourced Client Solutions, Lauren feels that she is being ignored.
Lauren hopes to take her brother to Florida once more, before his condition prevents travelling again. However, currently, without the hoist the departing journey from Manchester would mean being, what she describes as ‘manhandled’ by strangers, and ‘battered’ by seats as he is placed in his allocated aircraft seat.
Speaking to the Manchester Evening News, Lauren said, “We try to avoid travelling by plane if possible but when we have it’s been a stressful, anxiety-ridden, awful experience. First, he’s dragged from his wheelchair into an ‘aisle chair’. Straps are sometimes available to strap him in. It’s distressing to see your little brother strapped down to what is essentially a plank of wood. The straps are there to provide some support and keep limbs on the chair, but they don’t really provide any support.”