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New lease of life for Mark and his trike

PUBLISHED: 14:17 22 April 2003 | UPDATED: 13:46 03 March 2010

SPINA bifida sufferer Mark Easton is today relishing his regained independence after defying the thugs who trashed his motorised trike.

The wheelchair-bound 25-year-old, of Bramford Road, Ipswich, has taken delivery of a brand new £7,000 trike and is now able to come and go as he pleases.

SPINA bifida sufferer Mark Easton is today relishing his regained independence after defying the thugs who trashed his motorised trike.

The wheelchair-bound 25-year-old, of Bramford Road, Ipswich, has taken delivery of a brand new £7,000 trike and is now able to come and go as he pleases.

Mark's happy mood today is in sharp contrast to the "irritation" and "distress" he felt when his previous trike, which he attaches to his wheelchair, was stolen from his driveway and torched.

"I was pretty irritated at the time but the people who stole it have lost because I've come back with something better," he said.

The new 125cc trike – his old one was only 50cc – takes Mark everywhere and he is now able to visit his friends and work for hospital radio again.

"It's quite a relief to have it back and I've been using it quite a bit, he said. "I've been catching up with people and I can do my work on the hospital radio again now as well. It takes me nearly everywhere."

The money for the new vehicle was generated through a combination of an insurance claim, a loan taken out by Mark and donations from the Copdock Classic Motorcycle Club and the public.

Chairman of Copdock Classic Motorcycle Club, John Jones, said: "It was important for the boy and it was an appalling thing to happen. We felt touched by what had happened and were pleased to help."

Mark's uncle, Paul Easton, collected public donations from his workplace, the Washbrook Service Station.

Mark said: "I'm really grateful to the Copdock Motorcycle Club and to the general public for making donations because without them, I still think I'd be without one."

His mum, Teresa De Roy Chennells, said: "He was quite down before because he was so tied down. Now he can go out and see his friends on his own."

"It was very generous of the public and especially the motorcycle club. Mark is quite into motorbikes and often goes to their bike shows so they know him."

FAST FACTS: Spina Bifida

Spina Bifida is a fault in the spinal column where one or more of the vertebrae fail to form properly, leaving a gap that causes damage to the central nervous system.

There are three types of Spina Bifida and Mark suffers from the most serious type, called myelomeningocele.

The cause of spina bifida is unknown – it is a defect present at birth that is only partly hereditary.

The risk of an adult with the condition having a child with a similar condition is approximately three per cent or one in 35.

Source: Association for Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus .


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