Disability access must be a higher priority

LETTER TO THE EDITOR:

ON the morning of February 1, I had a fall in my motorised wheelchair.

I was travelling on the narrow footpath heading for the entrance to Gippsland Centre Sale at the side of the Coles carpark.

The kerb is high when I manoeuvred past a post, my wheelchair went over the kerb onto the road.

I was strapped in, so the wheelchair was on top of me, making it impossible for me to move.

As I cried out for help, amazing people came to my aid, removed my wheelchair, placed a pillow under my head, covered me with a blanket and called my husband and the ambulance.

One of these wonderful people was trained in first aid and knew what to do.

They stayed with me until the ambulance came.

I wish to express my deepest gratitude to these good Samaritans who willingly gave up their time to help me.

It is a testimony to the innate goodness of people at such times.

Whoever they are, please accept my heartfelt thanks.

The ambulance staff were terrific responding so quickly and I cannot speak highly enough of their professionalism, compassion, competence and good humour.

This incident highlights the many inadequate footpaths around Sale, either through disrepair or inaccessibility, the many extremely steep accesses from footpath to road and, in this case a very high kerb which made it impossible to keep control of the wheelchair.

Disability access needs to be a high priority in a town where more and more elderly people and others use mobility aids as well as the many parents with babies and young children in prams.

I hope our council might take note for future planning.