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Hannah Barham-Brown: "If you have to return to work... a powerchair is a lifesaver"

22nd May, 2020

It’s a scary ol’ time right now – not that you need me to tell you that. I’m still working away in two elderly care facilities, caring for my wonderful patients, wheeling around on Merida, my WHILL Model C… at least I was. For two weeks, the longest journey I made was from my bed to my sofa, as I coughed and spluttered my way through some pretty excruciating joint and muscle pains, and one hell of a headache. 

Thanks to being an NHS worker, I was able to get a coronavirus test relatively quickly – though an hour-long round drive to get it was not easy when feeling like rubbish – but it came back negative.

It’s weird to think I lost two weeks of my life to my sofa. A course of antibiotics for a secondary chest infection later, and I’m almost feeling back to normal. Still physically sore and my brain is even mushier than normal – lots of breaks and trying to rest up a lot between shifts. If you have to return to work after feeling unwell, being able to do so in a powerchair and save your energy is a lifesaver!

One of the things that has dragged me delightedly back into the real world this month has been #GetLippy Month. As an ambassador for the Eve Appeal, the Gynaecological Cancer charity, I get to be a part of an incredible month of awareness raising and fundraising to try to save the lives of women across the UK. Last week, I was part of a panel on health inequalities and spoke about the challenges facing the disabled and LGBTQ+ communities in seeking access to healthcare. On another panel this week, I talked about access and inclusion in healthcare; you can keep updated on the Eve Appeal social media channels.

Finally, I’ve now got a weekly slot on BBC Radio Leeds, York and Sheffield on Wednesday nights at 7:15, chatting to Sanchez Payne about challenges disabled people are facing in lockdown. Be sure to tune in!


Hannah is a TGA brand ambassador for the WHILL Model C.