Jochem, aged 54, was injured in December 2013. Following four months in hospital, on 4th April 2014 he went back to live in the home he has lived in with his wife Tracey since 2002. Since then, Jochem has been forced to live in the dining room, which he says can feel like living in a prison, as he has a bed but no access to a toilet or personal washing facilities. He can access the kitchen but cannot do any cooking as they are waiting for the kitchen to be adapted.

Jochem in his living room

Jochem says “Since I was injured, we have been going backwards and forwards with the local council. They put a wooden ramp in at the front of the house but said they couldn’t put one at the back because we can’t have two wooden ramps. This means I can’t enjoy the garden and if there is a fire in the kitchen I wouldn’t be able to get out of the house, because it’s only possible for me to leave the house at the front.”

Tracey adds: “We are trying to get the downstairs of our home adapted so that Jochem can live independently in it, but most of the council’s ideas won’t actually work.”

Jochem and his wife Tracey are becoming increasingly frustrated because each area they need adapted is treated as a separate issue, rather than the house as a whole.

Jochem comments: “We have no family here to support us as mine is all in Holland. My wife was made redundant last year and is frequently in tears trying to get everything sorted with the house and trying to find out what benefits we are entitled to. The stress on us is unbelievable.”