Richard Johns's request for a potentially life-saving generator has been rejected by the NDIA. Picture: Supplied by family
Richard Johns's request for a potentially life-saving generator has been rejected by the NDIA. Picture: Supplied by family

Bed bound man left to rely on generosity of strangers

A SEVERELY disabled man has been left to rely on the generosity of every day Australians after his cry for help was rejected by the Federal Government. 

As revealed on Advertiser.com.au yesterday, Adelaide multiple sclerosis sufferer Richard Johns, 54, relies on electric disability equipment to stay alive.

In the event of a power outage, Mr Johns has to be rushed to hospital within 10 minutes. 

But his application for a generator has been rejected by the Federal Government's National Disability Insurance Agency, which deemed it "not reasonable or necessary".

A GoFundMe page has now been created to raise money for a potentially life-saving back-up generator.

Mr Johns, who is bed-bound and needs electric disability equipment to manage his risk of choking, help him breathe and assist with bed mobility, lives with his partner Pam in McLaren Vale.

Their home experiences frequent blackouts, particularly during summer, and each time there is an outage, Pam must immediately call an ambulance to rush him to hospital.

In November last year, the Multiple Sclerosis Society submitted an assistive technology request on behalf of Mr Johns with the NDIA, seeking funding for a $2300 generator, which would be used to power his disability equipment in the event of a blackout.

That application was rejected on January 29, leaving Pam distraught and fearing she may have to put her partner in a nursing home.

The South Australia State Opposition, which had previously lobbied the NDIA and federal Human Services Minister Michael Keenan to no avail, called on the State Government to intervene to help Mr Johns.

Human Services Minister Michelle Lensink urged Mr Johns and Pam to contact her office so she could assist.

Abilities SA support co-ordinator Laura Morris, who has supported Mr Johns since last year, established a GoFundMe page to raise money for the cause this morning.

"Richard desperately needs a power generator to ensure his electric disability equipment can continue to operate in the event of a power outage," she wrote.

"We are now asking for Adelaide's help to deliver to Richard and Pam the security and assurance a power generator would provide them.

"Anything you can contribute is deeply appreciated. Thank you so much."

The GoFundMe page can be accessed via gofundme.com/power-generator-for-richard-johns.