Meet Beth

Staff Member

Meet Beth

Wheelchair Powerpack

21-year-old student, Beth – who is paralysed in one leg – is one step closer to fulfilling her dream of becoming a doctor thanks to Children Today’s support.

Beth – who became paralysed in her right leg following a sports injury when she was 13 years old –  is due to start studying medicine in September 2021 at Newcastle University, which has been a lifelong ambition since she was just four years old.

Beth before her accident

The wheelchair powerpack, which Children Today part-funded, means Beth will be able to get about the university campus and city much more easily and independently.

Beth, from Manchester, says:

“I’m both excited and nervous about starting university later this year, but the powerpack means I have one less thing to worry about. Because Newcastle sits in a valley there are some very hilly parts of the city, and although I’m pretty strong in my upper body, after visiting earlier this year I realised I might need something to give me an extra boost.

Beth at medicine summer school

“I didn’t want to go down the powered wheelchair route and I wouldn’t be eligible for one on the NHS anyway, as I have good upper body strength. So, the powerpack is the perfect solution.”

A wheelchair powerpack is a lightweight unit that can attached to most standard manual wheelchairs and, in effect, motorises the wheelchair – providing much needed assistance when climbing steep inclines or crossing grassy or uneven terrain.

Beth, who is determined not to let her injury stand in the way of doing what she’s always dreamed of, continues:

“I was very unlucky to be involved in an accident during school sports day; whilst competing in the hurdles I was tripped and the impact of the fall shattered the bones in my leg leaving me paralysed in my right leg. It’s also left me with a lifelong, and poorly understood, nerve condition known as complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS), which means I’m in constant severe and debilitating pain. But I’ve not let it stop me!

“I had to take quite a lot of time out of education to recover and spent a long time in hospital, going through multiple operations, but I’m determined to live a full life and achieve everything I set out to do.

“I’m looking forward to finding out more about the different specialities in medicine and I’m open-minded about which field I end up in at the moment, but I do have an interest in both psychiatry and neurology. I can’t wait to start and am really grateful to Children Today for their part in helping me in the first part of my journey to becoming a doctor.”

Not one to let her disability stand in her way, Beth also competes at elite level in para-dance, specialising in ballroom and Latin and enjoys hand-cycling as a hobby too.  

Beth competing in para-dance

We wish Beth the best of luck in her academic endeavours and look forward to hearing about her future successes!