David Thomas needs a new car with a specialised wheelchair to continue his volunteer work.
David Thomas needs a new car with a specialised wheelchair to continue his volunteer work. Kari Bourne

Time to get some help for 'Nails'

DAVID Thomas has never allowed the loss of the use of his legs to stop him from living life to the fullest.

But without your help, his disability soon could get the better of him.

Mr Thomas's back was crushed by a tree in an accident nearly four decades ago and he lost the use of his legs.

This didn't stop the former boy scout from continuing to share his love of scouting and the great outdoors with others.

He has trained scout leaders across the country, helped with Girl Guides and also taught children at various schools how to abseil and canoe.

His passion, drive and enthusiasm earned him the nickname Nails, because he is as tough as nails.

It also earned him the Maroochydore resident an Order of Australia Medal in 2008.

But the years of using his arms to compensate for his legs have taken their toll.

His friend Pamela Budge said when he visited the doctor last year he was told "he has the shoulders of a 90-year-old man".

"They said there is nothing to do to improve his shoulders, except for pain relief," Mrs Budge said.

This means Mr Thomas can longer chuck his wheelchair on the roof of his car to get around. He needs an electric wheelchair and an adapted car to transport it.

These cars cost at least $25,000 second-hand.

His friends have been trying to fund raise to help, but time is running out.

They obtained permission to open a tax-deductible fundraising account for Mr Thomas and this account expires on April 5.

"We had to get special sanction to raise money," Mrs Budge said.

"We didn't want to do it only through Scouts.

"He is involved in so many other school groups. And because we aren't a registered charity and don't want to be a permanent charity, they only give you six months."

Their goal has been to raise $35,000. They are still several thousand dollars short. If you can help, visit wheelsfornails.com.

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