Barkingside mum’s life changed by £10,000 appeal

PUBLISHED: 10:00 24 January 2016

Devorah Sufrin, from Chabad Lubavitch, the synagogue in Gants Hill, told the Freedman family about the new technology

Devorah Sufrin, from Chabad Lubavitch, the synagogue in Gants Hill, told the Freedman family about the new technology


A woman whose degenerative condition means she can only move her eyes will see her life change after an appeal raised nearly £12,000 to enable her to use new technology to regain her independence.

Sue Freedman, 45, who has advanced multiple sclerosis (MS), has to spend her days in the same chair at her home in Barkingside, unable to change the TV channel, pick up a book, or allow someone in to visit her.

But this is about to change.

In just over a month, her family raised £11,871.50 for an eye-controlled computer, which would enable Mrs Freedman to control the front door to allow visitors in, the radio, the TV and her mobile phone.

Her husband, Laurence, 61, told the Recorder: “It’s a fantastic response by the community and we are very excited to get this new equipment.

“People are very generous and we are very grateful.”

Mr Freedman said the new kit will make “a huge difference” to his wife’s everyday life.

Mrs Freedman, a mother of three, was diagnosed with MS 15 years ago and in the past few years, her condition deteriorated to the extent she can no longer carry out everyday activities most of us take for granted.

In December family friend Devorah Sufrin launched the appeal with an initial target of £10,000 after having mentioned the new technology to the family when she heard about it.

The installation of this assistive technology, which comes in the form of a digital tablet called a Smartbox, costs nearly £9,000 and needs regular maintenance.

It takes a month to order and the kit should be up and running at the Freedman’s home in Barkingside by early March.

In MS, the layer of protein called myelin, which surrounds the nerve fibre in the brain and spinal cord is damaged. This layer of protein protects the nerve and helps electrical signals travel from the brain.

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