Sunday Express

One last holiday for MND patient thanks to Sunday Express

- By Tony Whitfield

A FORMER police chief living with motor neurone disease can go on a final holiday with his family after a cruise company that refused to allow him a special bed on its ship changed its mind.

Princess Cruises had banned the profile bed that Chris Johnson needs to sleep in a sitting position to help him breathe, saying it posed a health and safety risk.

But after being contacted by the Sunday Express, the Us-owned company reversed its decision.

Chris’s wife Sharon, 51, said: “It’s amazing, we are absolutely over the moon. It is a shame we had to go this far but I don’t have to disappoint the children now.”

Chris, 54, had booked a 10-day cruise to the Canary Islands on the Enchanted Princess this August with his wife, their daughter, 17, son, 12, and other family members.

The former

Assistant Chief Constable of West Midlands Police was diagnosed in 2018 and needs non-invasive ventilatio­n via a pack that assists with his breathing, and a profile bed.

The family had booked the cruise through Limitless Travel, which specialise­s in holidays for disabled people. It organised for the hire company Mobility at Sea to fit and remove the profile bed, a mobile hoist and a shower commode before and after the cruise.

While all the other equipment was allowed on, the bed was ruled out by Princess Cruises. However, when contacted by this newspaper,

the company said that when it restarted operations last year the beds were banned because if a passenger tested positive for Covid, they would need to move to a quarantine cabin and the crew could not move the beds.

“This protocol is under review and can be overridden for Mr Johnson as he is on a cruise from the UK, which does not require movement to an isolation cabin should he test positive.”

Sharon said: “This is about having our last holiday with Chris.we don’t know how long he has left.”

Chris, from Bromsgrove, was part of a delegation of MND patients who delivered a letter to Downing Street last September calling for £50million of targeted funding to find a cure, which Prime Minister Boris Johnson pledged in November after a campaign by the Sunday Express.

CRUSADE Fund the fight to cure MND

 ?? Picture: JONATHAN BUCKMASTER ?? RELIEF: Chris Johnson, inset in uniform, can enjoy a final holiday
Picture: JONATHAN BUCKMASTER RELIEF: Chris Johnson, inset in uniform, can enjoy a final holiday
 ?? ??

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from United Kingdom