A WOMAN with severe disabilities is being told she no longer meets the criteria to keep her electric wheelchair.

Hove resident Belinda Formosa received the shock news in a letter from the Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust which said that, following a review of her medical history, she is no longer eligible for the vehicle.

The 54-year-old said: “I have always been a very strong person, but they are trying to take my legs and my life away.

“I like to go down to the seafront and meet my friends, but I wouldn’t be able to do anything without my chair.

“I wouldn’t have any quality of life, I wouldn’t have a life at all, I would have to lie in bed all day.”

The letter said that “in our consultant’s opinion based on the medical evidence they have available, it should be possible for you to both walk and self-propel a manual chair”.

But, Belinda said that because of several medical conditions, including spinal stenosis, cirrhosis of the liver, a pancreatic divisum, Dupuytren’s disease and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), she would be unable to do so.

She said: “I don’t like using the word disabled, I prefer to use the word adaptable instead.

“If I was able to propel a wheelchair or skip and jump about the place I would, but I can’t move my right shoulder and fingers because of Dupuytren’s disease and I was diagnosed with COPD late last year.”

COPD is a term used to describe progressive lung diseases, and is characterised by increasing breathlessness.

Belinda said: “I have never had a face-to-face appointment with anyone involved in making the decision.

“The stress it has put me through, it’s been like a game of ping pong in my head.

“It’s not fair on me, but I also worry about other disabled people who are in my position.”

The Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust responded.

A spokesman said: “We assess all of our patients and if they meet the criteria for an electric wheelchair then we of course provide them with one.

“It would not be appropriate to comment on individual cases, but we would like to ask them to get in touch with the team directly.”