A DUMFRIES woman living with a rare disability has discovered a new lease of life after receiving a new mobility scooter.
Beckie Eastham-Buckley, 41, suffers with Behçet’s syndrome, an extremely irregular inflammation of the blood vessels.
Prior to her diagnosis, she advised various local authorities on policy decisions as an environmental consultant, living in a remote part of Scotland with her partner Jane and three dogs.
However, the progression of Beckie’s condition resulted in her not leaving the house for months; and being bound to a wheelchair or crutches meant that getting out-and-about and walking her dogs became increasingly harder, and the gradual loss of her independence started getting her down.
It was at this point that Stuart, her Capability Scotland support worker, “came to the rescue” by offering to help pay for a state-of-the-art mobility scooter that she had her eye on.
On the day it arrived, Beckie travelled 14 miles to “test the distance” – and has been unstoppable since.
She said: “It’s just freedom, simple. I was so fed up before.
With my scooter I have no worries and no one is worrying about me, so we all have a better time outdoors. It has let me get out and have a life.
“I love dogs and have had dogs all my life, I wouldn’t be without them. Now with my scooter I can give them the exercise they need. I tend to go out for four and a half miles in the morning and two and a half miles in the afternoon. We go on plenty of different terrains including through Dalbeattie Forest.
“I can also visit my mum three miles away on my own; she thinks my scooter is amazing, however I am yet to convince her to buy one, a real shame as she’s missing out so much.”
Beckie is keen that more people are able to “understand that a mobility scooter is all about enablement, not disablement.”
Paula Cochrane, from Capability Scotland, said: “We’re delighted to have helped in providing this new-found freedom for Beckie and the difference this has made to her life is unparalleled.
“It’s wonderful to see Beckie getting more involved in our Dumfries and Galloway service because of this. There’s no holding her back now.”