Rob Porter given 'life changing' gift
                        by old golfing buddies

From The Bicester Advertiser, 28th September 2017

A FORMER sportsman who was left paralysed after a fall has thanked his old golf club for it's 'life-changing' gift of a new mobility chair.

Rob Porter suffered a spinal injury seven years ago when he fell over and hit his head on a fireplace.

Despite getting some feeling back in his hands, has since been left paralysed from the neck down.

It meant the 61-year-old could had to leave his job as a postman in Bicester, and was no longer able to play golf with the Bicester Town FC Golf Society, which he helped form many years ago.

But in an incredible gesture from friends and members at the society, the team heard of his struggles with his NHS wheelchair and clubbed together to raise about £5,000 towards a new mobility chair for Mr Porter.

The NHS made up the rest of the £8,000 cost.

Mr Porter added: "After receiving the chair I was able to go down to the Ashton Club in Sheep Street to speak with everyone at the society face to face which is unbelievable after all these years.

"I couldn't stop smiling, I just can't thank them enough."

The dad-of-two from Launton Meadows said: "It is an incredibly humbling experience to have a group of people do that for you.

"I didn't know until almost the day they handed it over to me last week and I can't thank everyone enough.

"I have had it for a week and it is fantastic, the day it was handed over I took it out with my daughter for a test run and was able to go alongside her speaking face to face.

"When you are in a wheelchair you are just in the land of the belly button.

"People will say their hellos and pleasantries for a few minutes and then move on because nobody wants to speak bending down for ages."

Rob with daughter Hannah

Bicester Town FC Golf Society raised the money through a charity golf day earlier in the year, plus other donations.

The driving force behind the event was treasurer Kevin Leach, who has known Mr Porter for several years.

He said: "I was talking with Rob's wife Fran about various things and started getting into how Rob was doing.

"Of course we don't get to see Rob as much, as he doesn't get out too much since the fall, whereas he used to be so sociable, out every weekend playing golf.

"But Fran said about the problems he was having with his wheelchair, so I asked if there was anything we could do."

The society began fundraising the money to pay for Quantum 6 Edge 2 iLevel chair which not only allows Mr Porter to be at eye level height but also lets him lie down – helping to alleviate the pain of staying in the same position for hours.

Pride Mobility Products worked with the society and Mr Porter's family to provide the new chair via one of their dealers, Active Mobility, based in Stratford-on-Avon in Warwickshire.

It was presented to Mr Porter on Wednesday, September 20.

Mr Porter's wife Fran added: "Our family is very grateful for what they have done, we can start going at more and it is just going to change his life.

"It already has."