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Ex-rugby player tackles his stairs with help from Acorn

12:00am | & Health

A 48-year-old ex-rugby league player no longer faces the half-hour struggle of climbing the stairs following the donation of a “transformative” Acorn Stairlift.

Darrell Grounds, who suffers from severe rheumatoid arthritis, has been burdened with the daily challenge of climbing the stairs for two-and-a-half years since his condition left him with crippling pain. Limited mobility has left Darrell trapped upstairs and a prisoner in his own home due to the agonising pain of tackling the stairs.

Darrell, from Epworth, North Lincolnshire, said: “Over the past few years, my freedom has completely diminished. I used to be active and regularly played rugby, but my excruciating arthritis made daily tasks such as climbing the stairs an unendurable task. I knew the only saving grace would be a stairlift – but the cost was more than I could afford.”

Darrell's ordeal began when he was diagnosed with severe arthritis, which has spread to his spine, hips and knees, as well as carpal tunnel syndrome in his left arm from the elbow down, making it extremely difficult for him to get about. It meant he went from playing rugby league to being housebound in just a few years.

After his story was featured in the local press, Acorn Stairlifts became aware of Darrell’s debilitating situation and got in touch with the offer to donate a stairlift free of charge.

Darrell added: “I can’t thank the team at Acorn Stairlifts enough. When I was told about the stairlift offer, I was so touched by the generosity and knew how much it would change my life. My freedom has returned – my friends no longer have to do my shopping and I can now let my dog out every day. I have finally got my life back!”

Nick Wilson, operations director for Acorn Stairlifts, said: “It’s so important to us to help people like Darrell, who due to physical conditions, experience excruciating pain when facing stairs. We want people to feel safe, comfortable and confident in their own homes and we’re passionate about supporting people in these situations.”

Darrell is pictured trying out his new Acorn Stairlift alongside his local Acorn surveyor Darren Smith

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