Something for mum to smile about
SIMPLE pleasures such as making a cup of tea and cuddling with her pet dog are things paralysed mum Bianca O'Reilly thought she would never do again.
But an outpouring of generosity from the community has given the South Kolan woman back a small measure of her independence.
"I've been offered well over 20 wheelchairs and, in fact, the offers are still coming in now," she said.
Ms O'Reilly suffered a workplace injury last year, which has left her with two ruptured neck discs and needing urgent surgery.
But public health waiting lists have kept her from having the operation, and she is now paralysed. This has meant that she has become bedridden for the past six weeks.
Ms O'Reilly's mother Susan wrote to the NewsMail's letters to the editor page on Saturday, pleading for members of the public to help by donating unwanted disability equipment.
"People have been ringing, wanting to sit with me and spend time with me to give (my partner) David a break," Ms O'Reilly said.
She said one woman had called her and offered to do her grocery shopping.
"Anything and everything, people have offered me," she said.
"We've only accepted two wheelchairs, one for upstairs and one for downstairs as we live in a highset Queenslander, a toilet and shower chair and a $2500 electric scooter."
Ms O'Reilly said the donations had meant the world to her and, for the first time in months, she could smile.
"I can actually get back down (in the garden) and look at what I've grown and admire it," she said.
"I can have my dog Bulli with me - he's devastated he hasn't seen me for weeks.
"It's the best Christmas present I could get."
She has now asked people to donate other unwanted equipment to non-government and not-for-profit organisations.