You’ll remember that we recently mentioned Jo’s Odd Shoes on our Facebook Page. I now have some more information from Jo on the background of this initiative.
As you’ll see, Jo is delighted to hear from people who have odd shoes to offer or swap so if like Jo you have a load of unused shoes (or even one or two!) in the bottom of your wardrobe, please contact her via her Facebook Page which you’ll be able to access via the link below the article.
This is such a good idea – we’ve been approached by people trying it before but Jo seems to have cracked it and we wish her the best of luck.
We will also be thinking of her as she is shortly to undergo the amputation of her right foot. We hope that you make a speedy recovery, Jo, and that the operation will leave you pain-free at last.
Read on for the article by Simon Wilgress-Pipe for the Free Metro.
Shoe swap shop for amputees gathers pace
By Simon Wilgress-Pipe
A disabled woman, who is in so much pain she can only wear one shoe, is ridding her wardrobe of spares – after setting up a footwear-swapping group for amputees.
Jo O’Callaghan, 44, pioneered the successful initiative and now considers it a welcome distraction from her own discomfort.
The mum-of-two (pictured above) suffers from crippling pain down her right side, forcing her to hobble on crutches or use a wheelchair to get about.
And after having been in agony for 17 years, she set up Jo’s Odd Shoes to link up people with one piece of footwear too many.
She said: ‘I found myself with lots of right shoes at the bottom of my wardrobe and thought that other people might have a use for them.
‘I guessed that it was going to be a case of kill or cure and people would love the idea or hate it – luckily they’ve loved it.
‘We’ve got members in places like Glasgow, Bristol and Plymouth.
‘Some are amputees, or have arthritis, or have got problems with their feet because of diabetes, but it all means they often have need for only one shoe.’
Jo, from Tenterden, Kent, set up her group nine months ago, and members swap their unwanted shoe with others who are in need of the opposite number.
Former accounts worker Jo, whose pain means that she takes three types of morphine on a daily basis, said the group has now become a welcome distraction.
She has also developed allodynia causing extreme sensitivity in her right foot, and is forced to sleep on top of the bedcovers at night with her foot resting on a cushion, as contact with bedlinen is agonising.
Jo had an operation to insert a spinal cord stimulator into her back, together with a battery implant, with the aim of improving the way her nerve signals work, but it has proved ineffective.
She added: ‘My skin is so sensitive on my right foot that water on it, or someone brushing against it, causes pain.
‘My aim is to get my right leg amputated.’
Jo’s Odd Shoes Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/groups/OddShoesJo/?fref=mentions&__xts__=68.ARBe6J7p5VVSUV1MpJVWK_DSvFJixQM5wc75k6nEOOwQzm4_ZmsGiaDOyVXoxHssbSWFjbXaU4r8XkksHgoNyhve0VVM0srl6MotU5j5-oYqrewQNR7ccGSSBRYGnXMKMlU73bYUzYM_p5X0s1RYR5F4MozfiTJjMhQCI8ljLUDlxV8zN5p6Xht1sLBhZCsN4BMio3IrmimPqC59tkoHIz9NefY&__tn__=K-R