Seaton man fighting cancer gets new lease of life thanks to late pal’s mobility scooter

Bob Rutter on his scooter.

Bob Rutter on his scooter. - Credit: Archant

A Seaton pensioner battling a rare form of brain cancer has had his life made easier thanks to the donation of his late friend’s mobility scooter.

Bob Rutter, 76, who has lived in the town for the past 18 years, was diagnosed with lymphoma in the brain after a 40-year career as a pub landlord.

Shortly after receiving the devastating news, Bob was referred to charity Hospiscare and has been attending weekly sessions at its Honiton-based Kings House Day Hospice.

During his sessions, Bob befriended a patient called Gill.

He said: “Gill was a lovely lady, she couldn’t speak much because of her illness but she joined in with everything and was a great listener.”

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When Gill died in 2017, her husband Paul donated her mobility scooter to Hospiscare.

Bob had never considered using this mode of transport before but was encouraged by the Hospiscare team to give it a go.

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His wife, Sue, said: “I didn’t think Bob would be able to cope with the scooter.

“The day it arrived Toni Hiscocks (who works at Kings House as a care navigator coordinator) convinced Bob to have a go.

“By coincidence on that day I had also come into Kings House for some complementary therapy, so Toni ushered me off for my massage and said ‘Don’t worry Sue, we’ll get him up and running!’

“I was convinced it wasn’t a good idea, but by the time my massage had finished Bob was bombing around, tooting the horn and it was brilliant.

“Bob and I have been married for 55 years and have three lovely sons and daughters-in-law and they have all been wonderful since Bob’s diagnosis, but the illness has been really difficult for the family.

“This scooter has given Bob back some independence and it’s great to see.”

Bob added: “I gave Hospiscare a donation for the scooter and I’ve been using it ever since.

“I joke to Sue that she’ll need to get some plimsolls to keep up with me as I haven’t even opened it up to top speed yet. I used to have a wheelchair and Sue would have to push me, but now it feels like I’ve got a Ferrari!

“I think Gill would have loved it if she knew I was making good use of her wheels.”

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