FEDERAL MP Warren Entsch is appealing to the generosity of the electorate to help a Weipa man who has undergone a traumatic series of medical mishaps over the last 22 months.
Les Borthwick, 76, went into Cairns Base Hospital for a knee replacement but complications have forced him to undergo seven operations. During the most recent operation, a metre-long steel rod was inserted in his right leg, meaning he is now unable to straighten or put any weight on it.
After being sent to a facility at Gordonvale several months ago for rehabilitation and treatment for a ‘super-bug’ infection, Les and his family must now decide what his future options are.
In the meantime, in order to give Les some level of independence once he leaves hospital, Mr Entsch has this week launched a community-wide appeal to raise money for a mobility scooter.
“Les has had a truly awful time and now all he wants to be able to do is walk,” Mr Entsch said. “While that may be a while off, it’s important that he has some freedom and independence in the meantime and this scooter will help provide that.”
Local businesses have already shown their support with Greg Martin, owner of the Scooter Shed on Mulgrave Rd in Cairns, negotiating a generous discount on a Shoprider Rocky 4 machine.
Les Borthwick with his mate, Graham Jonsen, and Warren.
“This has all the specifications that Les needs it’s a good size, rugged for the Weipa roads, has a long battery life and nice big wheels,” Mr Entsch said. “And because everybody in Weipa needs a Four Wheel Drive vehicle to get to their favourite fishing spot, Les’ machine is no different.”
Les’ son Rob Borthwick, and long-time mate Graham Jonsen, are devastated at what Les has been through and the pair contacted Mr Entsch’s office recently to see what he could do to help.
“Dad went into Cairns Base Hospital as a strong and energetic man, and now he’s in a wheelchair,” Rob Borthwick told Mr Entsch.
His ordeal has included contracting a tropical disease that required isolation and a major Golden Staph infection, in addition to other events on which Rob would like to see a formal investigation undertaken.
“All dad wants is to be able to walk again,” he said.
Mr Entsch is encouraging people in Leichhardt to support Les by donating towards the mobility scooter in either of the following ways:
By Post –
Send a cheque to The Les Borthwick Scooter Appeal, C/- The Office of Warren Entsch MP Benevolence Account, PO Box 14, Bungalow QLD 4970.
By Direct Debit
BANK Cairns Penny Savings & Loans
ACCOUNT NAME – Office of Warren Entsch MP Benevolence Account
BSB 704 966
ACCOUNT 100 012 234
REFERENCE The Les Borthwick Scooter Appeal
“And in the interest of locals supporting locals, I’d strongly urge anyone in the market for a scooter mobility or otherwise to head to the Scooter Shed at 6/214 Mulgrave Road, Westcourt, or visit the website at www.scootershed.com.au,” Mr Entsch ended.