Mo­bil­ity gift gives new life

The Tribune (NZ) - - NEWS - RICHARD MAYS

Val King is now mo­bile. De­spite not hav­ing the bud­get for a mo­bil­ity scooter, the sep­tu­a­ge­nar­ian, who is par­tially apha­sic as the re­sult of a stroke 20 years ago, has a new sec­ond-hand set of wheels and new­found in­de­pen­dence.

It’s the re­sult of an un­ex­pect­edly gen­er­ous do­na­tion.

‘‘A fam­ily whose par­ent passed away con­tacted us to see if we would like a mo­bil­ity scooter,’’ Age Con­cern’s Fern Brook­ing said.

‘‘I was talk­ing to Val about the dif­fer­ence a mo­bil­ity scooter would make to her just a week be­fore, but she said she wouldn’t be able to af­ford this.’’

Brook­ing was able to drive the do­nated scooter around to King’s place and sur­prise her with it.

‘‘What a neat ex­pe­ri­ence,’’ Brook­ing said of her de­liv­ery ride. ‘‘I can see how this would give some­one a new sense of free­dom.’’

King was look­ing for­ward to be­ing able to get her­self to the shops. She had a hip op­er­a­tion five years ago, and needed a walk­ing frame to keep her­self steady.

King’s niece, De­niece Marsh, has been help­ing her aunt learn to ride in the car park of the hous­ing es­tate where she lives.

‘‘After the first week she was a com­pletely dif­fer­ent per­son.’’

Marsh said King was an in­de­pen­dent woman be­fore she had her stroke, and she had been help­ing her aunt learn to com­mu­ni­cate again.

If peo­ple took the trou­ble to talk to her they would find that her aunt was ‘‘quite a char­ac­ter’’.

‘‘After the first week she was a com­pletely dif­fer­ent per­son.’’ De­niece Marsh

PHOTO: DAVID UNWIN/FAIR­FAX NZ

Val King pilots her new sec­ond-hand set of wheels watched by her niece and driv­ing in­struc­tor, De­niece Marsh.

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