A FORMER Royal Marine and firefighter who had been trapped on the ground floor of his home following an amputation, has thanked a local stairlift company for coming to his rescue.

Dennis Ward, 72, has now managed to see his bedroom for the first time in more than seven months after Steeton company Acorn Stairlifts fitted a stairlift for free as a gesture of goodwill.

The company had heard of Mr Ward’s plight after a story in the Telegraph & Argus had highlighted his situation.

The Veterans Association had said Mr Ward had been relying on strip washes and using a commode in his living room, where he also had to sleep, while a wait continued for an assessment of his needs.

Mr Ward, of Harbour Road, Wibsey, who served in the Royal Marines for ten years before becoming a Bradford firefighter, said: “I’d been living in a 4 x 3m space for seven months and hadn’t been able to use a proper shower or toilet in that time. Surviving only with strip washes and a commode and having no freedom to go upstairs was really getting me down: I was fed up.

“It’s a complete godsend, I can’t stop poking my head into the bedroom upstairs as it’s such a novelty to see it.”

His wife, Val Ward, also 72, said they were overwhelmed with kindness.

“The chaps came from Acorn as soon as they read about the story in the T&A and fitted a lift for us so Dennis can get upstairs now.

“People have been wonderful and even stop us in the street to ask how we are.

“Even firefighters have been in touch saying they wanted to help and they are going to help us put a downstairs toilet in to make life easier.

“We really thought that there was no help out there and that we would have to put up with the way things were.

“The reaction we got was amazing and we both want to thank everyone involved including Tony (Hayes) from the Veterans Association who got the ball rolling, plus all the other offers of help.”

Mr Hayes said: “Part of our mission is to help veterans and their families, including arranging stairlifts or wet rooms for disabled or elderly people. Mr Ward’s situation, which unfortunately is not unique, caught the attention of many kind people and companies wanting to assist.”

Simon Webster, marketing manager at Acorn Stairlifts, said: “We’re more than happy to have donated a stairlift to Dennis, knowing what a difference it has already made to his life. It is unfortunate that his situation isn’t unique but we’re pleased to have worked with Tony Hayes as his team is doing great work in supporting our country’s veterans.”