Following the death of Joan Bader in December last year, it was decided to honour her part in Douglas’s life and her commitment to the charity by awarding grants in her name. It was felt by all that Syeda Mannan was an ideal applicant for the first Lady Bader Memorial Grant.

With regards to the patient, she is a 21 year old girl who sadly fell ill with neutropenic septic shock and organ failure, which resulted in her being in a coma and needing ECHMO treatment that caused the loss of her lower limbs above the knee and all of her fingers. She has been in hospital for a total of 11 months so far and has been undergoing inpatient rehabilitation for the last three months.”

Syeda became ill while studying law in her final year at university. She has displayed enormous courage both throughout and since her illness and subsequent surgeries and never lost her determination to complete her law course and gain her degree. Because of the length of time it would take for her to be able to fitted with and use the prosthetic limbs she requires, she needed an alternative form of transport to assist her in achieving this ambition. It was agreed that the DBF should supply this practical help in the form of an electric wheelchair for Syeda through the Bader Grant scheme.

As you will have seen from an earlier post on our Facebook Page, David Bickers, DBF CEO, met Syeda in late July personally to deliver, unwrap and (help to!) assemble her new chair.

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David Bickers and Syeda Mannan getting to grips with the new chair

Following this meeting, David wrote to Syeda:

You are so full of life, happy and positive and determined and exactly the person we wish to support through our Grant Scheme and especially our new Grants in Memory of Lady Bader who passed away before Christmas 2015. We are delighted that by providing the electric wheelchair you will now be able to attend University comfortably and finish your last year of Law and am sure will go on to do great things. David Bickers to Syeda Mannah

We have since received from Orpa Mannan a video of Syeda in her new chair, clearly enjoying the freedom! (Luckily it was a quiet pavement!!)

Syeda writes:

I’ve been out for a spin in my electric wheelchair and it’s great fun! I took a video for you and attached it with this email!

I’m doing really well on my prosthesis, I’m now on 2 free knees and I can do the stairs, walking around a lot more outside and recently been practicing getting on and off the floor with them! Syeda Mannan

syeda-articleShe has also recently done some magazine and newspaper articles, e.g the evening standard and will be going on BBC news as well soon to share her story. Watch out for her!

We have no doubt that with her strength of character, positivity and determination, Syeda will be a huge inspiration to others. The DBF is delighted to have been able to help her to pursue her future and wish her the very best of luck. We are proud to be associated with her and hope that she’ll keep in touch with updates from what looks to be an exciting future.

Please click on the link to watch the video kindly sent in by Syeda: IMG_5957.mp4 (Please note this is a large file and may take time to download. Be sure to watch it all the way through!)