Dream of studying fulfilled thanks to ‘life-changing’ care

JPCT 020612 Lucinda Ritchie left and her mother Christine. Photo by Derek Martin

JPCT 020612 Lucinda Ritchie left and her mother Christine. Photo by Derek Martin

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After nearly two months in hospital a Horsham student who battles with a condition that makes her joints dislocate easily has finally won social care support to enable her to study safely at university.

Lucinda Ritchie of Badgers Close has Ehlers Danlos Syndrome, which means she needs round the clock supervision and care.

The County Times has covered her story from July when she felt delays in the West Sussex County Council assessment system were blighting her university dream.

Months on it concluded she was eligible for a carer for part of the day, but one night when she was alone, she fell and was hospitalised for seven weeks.

Returning to her studies last week Lucinda said: “I am very pleased that following a seven week stay in Southampton General Hospital I have at last been given a full time carer by WSCC Adult Services which I am very grateful for as it has changed my life.

“I am able to manage at university and in my halls of residence. Unfortunately, as a result of the fall, which occurred at a time when the county council had not given me any help in university, my condition has worsened.

“However, I now look forward to an improved relationship with Adult Services and being able to study without the constant worry that preoccupied my first few months at university.

“At last I can enjoy being a student and most importantly remain safe and have my basic needs met.”

West Sussex County Council declined to comment.

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