Disability news

Wave knocks woman off mobility scooter

footage of Tina being hit by a wave on her mobility scooter

The stormy weather over the past few days almost claimed the life of a disabled woman when a wave crashed over a wall at Swansea Marina.

Tina Thomas, 44, was riding her mobility scooter with husband Ashley and their dog Apollo on Friday, October 27.

Whilst facetiming her mother Tina was thrown out of the scooter when a huge wave surged over the wall.

She told WalesOnline: “Last Christmas I lost my friend Rachel after she drowned in a car accident.

“As the wave hit and I was completely submerged underwater my first thought was ‘I'm going to drown like Rachel’.”

A passer by caught the footage on camera and posted the clip online, but the couple were furious that they did not check if Tina was okay.

“I thought I have got to keep my head up,” Tina told the publication. “As long as I keep my head I will be alright - anything else can be fixed. So then the wave receded but then a couple of seconds later I got drenched again and it was very scary.”

The wave also bashed into Ashley, who was also riding a mobility scooter at the time.

“I saw my husband's scooter under another wave and I didn't know if he was alive to be honest. People quickly gathered round me and I asked if they knew where my husband was,” Tina said.

The couple wish to express their thanks to strangers who stopped to help them. “Luckily I couldn't have chosen a better day because there were three off duty doctors down there,” Tina explained. “Max, his partner Tara and Siwan came and made sure I was OK.”

Tina lives with FND which can trigger seizures when the brain struggles to send messages to other parts of the body.

Explaining the condition Tina said: “It's a condition where the brain gets confused and it doesn't send the right signals to the body.

“So although your legs and arms work physically, because your brain has got the issue it stops you from walking. Not everybody has issues with walking. There's so many symptoms. It's like an umbrella disorder. I want to raise awareness about it because a lot of people in the medical profession don't know about it.”

Despite both scooters being damaged by the waves, it is hoped that the couple can claim on their insurance.

“I'm paying for it monthly, but overall it's going to cost about £5,000,” Tina said. “My husband's cost about two and a half grand in total. It's quite expensive.”

Ashley added: “What's frustrating is that I have only just got my mobility scooter back because it was stolen in June.” The video of what happened to Tina was shared on social media. Disgustingly, some people have been posting unpleasant comments about her which has added to what was already a traumatic event with Tina still in a lot of pain.”

Tina and Ashley

Tina has faced criticism after the video was posted on social media, some people have even said she should have lost her life.

“A lot of people have been making fun of me to be honest. They are basically saying that I deserved it. Saying that I should have died and that I should have been swept out to sea. Someone said they were gutted the video stopped because they wanted to see me swept out to sea,” she told the publication.

“The reason I am telling my story is because I want to make it clear to people that they need to be careful around waves like that because it can seem quite calm but then come out of nowhere. A man from the RNLI explained how they can happen.”

Addressing the trolls making disgusting comments directed at his wife, Ashley said  “They need to get a life.

“Would they laugh if it happened to a member of their family? If people want to be like that then I will leave them to it, karma will come to them.”

[ The largest wave ever recorded was 1,720 feet near the Gilbert Inlet which destroyed everything around it. ]

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