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Council steps in to help amputee stroke victim
TONY Collins, a disabled stroke victim who was left isolated after BT struggled to connect his phone, has been given a vital lifeline by the council.
Tony, 51, had his leg amputated after contracting septiscemia, and suffered his most recent stroke in August.
After family and friends persuaded him to reconnect his home telephone in case of emergency, Tony paid BT for the connection, only to be left without even a dial tone more than a month later.
Amid concerns he would have no contact with emergency services if he had another incident while living on his own, Swindon Council stepped in to provide Tony with some essential emergency equipment.
Jack Sharp, Homeline manager at Swindon Council, said: “I saw how Mr Collins had been messed around by BT, and I thought straight away that we have some technology that would allow him to have an emergency contact.”
Jack visited Tony to offer to install a device which would give him peace of mind until his line was reconnected.
“We were able to install a GSH, which is a box that has a sim card in it,” Jack said. “It has a special adaptor on it which allows a community alarm to be plugged into it. It acts as a mobile phone when he is walking around his house.
“It automatically dials out to our control centre when the button is pushed. He has got a pendant that can be tied around his neck or his wrist, which he can wear around the house and push if he is in an emergency. It will then open up a speech path to our control centre.
“If he is not able to respond, we will attempt ringing the unit itself. If that does not happen we will send a response unit around to help him.”
Tony will now have immediate access to a person 24 hours a day in the event of another medical issue.
“We look after 5,000 people in and around Swindon, and we have been running since 1987,” added Jack. “We have also got the technology to set this system up through a mobile phone. The bulk of our work is involved in lifting people off the floor when they have had a fall on their own, and we do that more than 2,000 times a year.
“The team are fully first aid trained, and we are the first community alarm group to be allowed to use the bus lanes during our response.
“Mr Collins was really appreciative, and thankfully he has not had to press his button at all over the weekend.”
A spokesman for BT said: “BT would like to apologise to Mr Collins as his switch to BT has not been as smooth as it should have been.
“This is due to an error completing the order by connecting to the local exchange and we are endeavouring to resolve this as quickly as possible.”
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