Team Ireland jock Patrick Flanagan said helium was "gutted" erstwhile helium recovered retired that his wheelchair had been breached connected his travel to Tokyo to vie successful the 2020 Paralympic Games.
The 23-year-old flew from Ireland to London to drawback a connecting formation to Japan for the Games, which commencement connected August 24.
However, helium posted connected Twitter that: "When the level landed I was fixed my wheelchair back, but it was wholly broken."
In his tweet explaining the situation, Flanagan included pictures which appeared to amusement the breached wheels.
"Ultimately the wheels person been damaged truthful overmuch that they nary longer spin, on with a batch of different dents and scrapes," helium wrote.
He explained that the unit astatine Heathrow were "extremely apologetic."
The authoritative Heathrow relationship replied to Flanagan's tweet saying: "We are atrocious to perceive that your wheelchair was damaged successful transit to Heathrow and recognize however distressing this would person been. Once our teams were made alert of what had happened connected accomplishment into Heathrow, they did their champion to assistance with your onward journey."
"We volition enactment with the hose and the root airdrome arsenic a precedence to analyse however the harm occurred and however it tin beryllium avoided successful the future," it continued.
"Please bash get successful interaction if we tin beryllium of immoderate assistance with immoderate aboriginal question done Heathrow."
However, Flanagan -- who said "an apology does precise small for" him -- outlined the difficulties the replacement wheelchair helium was fixed is providing.
"I was fixed an implicit sized airdrome wheelchair, filled retired a assertion signifier and sent connected my way. I tin hardly propulsion myself successful this caller seat and elemental tasks similar getting astir my edifice country are highly tough. And present I person to alert to Tokyo.
"This is not thing that tin hap to wheelchair uses. It's unacceptable. Both airlines and baggage handlers request to wage much attraction to chairs. My seat is my independency and takes months to beryllium fitted and ordered. Mine is specifically sized to enactment my back, is lightweight truthful I tin assistance it into the car and is highly sturdy. It would not beryllium damaged easily."
Flanagan volition swim successful the S6 100m backstroke and 400m freestyle for Team Ireland.
He posted an update saying that helium was having a replacement seat flown out.
"But not each wheelchair users are fortunate capable to person a spare. The constituent remains the same, this should ne'er happen!" helium said.
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