#SaveTaxi's wheelchair fundraiser for Canonbury cycle crash victim who
is forced to crawl.
Black cabbies are raising money to buy an electric wheelchair for a disabled customer who currently has to “crawl” to and from their taxis.
Alex Doodle, 44, has been on the lengthy waiting list for three months. The architecture graduate, has relied on black cabs to get around since losing the ability to walk in a cycling collision in Essex Road seven years ago.
But the costs, coupled with the mental healthcare bill, means he has had to survive on full fat milk since November.
And after sharing his story with driver Terry Vaus, who watched them “crawl” from his cab last month, the cabbie called on the close-knit community to raise £3,000 for a chair.
“I feel like a prisoner in my own home,” Alex told the Gazette. “To have the freedom to go out when I want would be life-changing.”
To make matters worse, Alex lives in a first floor flat in Englefield Road, Canonbury, because wheelchair-accessible homes are so scarce (making up just 28 of the 2,000 council properties let in the last two years).
The council has helped Alex get crutches and undergo physiotherapy to use them, but he still has to stumble up and down the stairs, causing up to 15 falls a week. “My neighbour has found me unconscious a number of times,” Alex added.
“I spend most of my money on taxis and mental health services, so I haven’t been able to eat properly since November, but some of these wonderful Taxi drivers have been bringing me baby food. I get full from just half a jar – I’ve also been living off full fat milk.”
Terry said: “I’ve picked up Alex a couple of times and we got chatting about his life.
“When I dropped him off I offered to help, but he really didn’t want me to. I watched him crawling along the wall. He's been pushed from pillar to post. So I posted about him on our Save Our Black Taxis Facebook group and it just went from there.”
Islington’s health boss Cllr Janet Burgess said she was sorry to hear of Alex’s situation and was doing what she could to help, including offering in-home adaptations and mental healthcare.
She said: “I would urge Alex to engage with our services so we can ensure he has all the support he needs.
“While we are building new homes for disabled tenants, demand for properties vastly outweighs supply.”