Uplifting news: Air pollution in UK falls and wife makes husband prosthetic leg

Truckers made one ill teenager’s day and one woman went the extra mile in making her husband a prosthetic leg in Tuesday’s news.

Here is a look at some of the day’s more uplifting stories you might have missed.

– Woman makes prosthetic leg for husband from bits found in shed

Amputee Steve Watson wearing the prosthetic leg his wife Atchari made for him from items she found in the shed. Atchari Watson, 46, stepped in to action to help her husband Steve get around their house in Shotley Bridge, County Durham, after they were told he would have to wait months for one on the NHS due to the coronavirus crisis
(Owen Humphreys/PA)

An amputee has praised his practical wife after she fashioned a prosthetic leg for him from items she found in the shed.

Atchari Watson, 46, stepped in to action to help her husband Steve get around their house in Shotley Bridge, County Durham, after they were told he would have to wait months for one on the NHS due to the coronavirus crisis.

He said her first attempt, using a seaside bucket, fibreglass resin and a piece of wood, made him look like Long John Silver and kept sliding off.

However, a second try, with half a moon boot and wood from the shed, will allow the teaching assistant to get in the garden and walk around their house.

– Five karate kids kick coronavirus into touch with virtual lessons

Undated handout photo issued by Gemma Clarke-Collins showing children doing virtual karate training during lockdown
(Gemma Clarke-Collins/PA)

Five karate kids from one family are kicking and punching the coronavirus crisis into touch through virtual classes.

Mikie, 16, Kayde, 11, Marley, nine, Ernie, seven and Rudy, five, have been told not to go to school until the national emergency is over, and as a way to keep active at home, the family have joined virtual karate classes led by Tooting-based instructor Linda Marchant.

In a virtual interview with the PA news agency, junior black-belt Mikie said: “It keeps us fit and healthy and also gives us life skills about how to defend ourselves in real life situations.”

On the difference between virtual karate and real-life classes, Mikie said: “It’s different because it does not have the same atmosphere, but we are doing the same.”

– Truckers rally round ill teenager after lorry show dream ruined by coronavirus

The trucker community has rallied round a lorry-loving teenager with spina bifida after his dreams of attending a festival were dashed by coronavirus.

Christopher Anderson, 17, was due to be guest of honour at the Stockyard Charity Truck and Car Show in June with his family thanks to a link-up with Make-A-Wish UK and the Truck Mate UK Facebook community.

But after the Covid-19 pandemic hit, the event has been cancelled and Christopher, who also has adrenal insufficiency, must remain indoors at his home in Thornton-Cleveleys, in Lancashire, as he is considered to be high risk.

Now truck drivers from around the country are attempting to bring the lorries to him by sending pictures of their vehicles and videos showing what life is like inside the cab.

“He loves it, absolutely loves it,” Christine Anderson, Christopher’s mother, told the PA news agency. “These are personal messages, guys taking time out of their busy days. He’s so made up.”

– Air pollution falls as UK goes into coronavirus lockdown

An empty Gracechurch Street in the City of London, the day after Prime Minister Boris Johnson put the UK in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus
(Yui Mok/PA)

Air pollution in UK cities is falling as the country goes into lockdown – mirroring what has happened in other parts of the world, experts said.

Satellite images have already revealed dramatic reductions in concentrations of pollutant nitrogen dioxide in China and northern Italy, coinciding with lockdowns to tackle the coronavirus pandemic.

And as daily life grinds to a halt in the UK, with a sharp reduction in traffic that causes much of the air pollution in cities, air quality has started to improve here.

Professor Alastair Lewis, from the National Centre for Atmospheric Science, University of York, said: “This is primarily a consequence of lower traffic volumes, and some of the most clear reductions have been in nitrogen dioxide, which comes primarily from vehicle exhaust.”

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