A disabled former athlete whose £20,000 wheelchair was damaged by airline workers has spoken of his disappointment after the airline initially offered him just £1,000 compensation.

Drew Graham, who was paralysed in 2014, was travelling from Denver to Newcastle in December when Icelandair employees allegedly dropped the wheelchair.

Mr Graham’s family contacted Icelandair to explain, but claim they were told he would only be allowed the maximum compensation for baggage damage.

The former 1,500m runner posted pictures of the damaged wheelchair online stating: “Devastation, disappointment and heart break are the words that come to mind.”

Mr Graham’s father Gary wrote on Facebook: “This is how Icelandair handed over Drews £20,000 power wheelchair, after dropping it when loading it on the plane. It is effectively written off and after 3 weeks of correspondence they have offered just over £1,000 in compensation, which apparently is their maximum damaged baggage allowance!”

His father also commented on the company’s Facebook: “Drew’s chair is his lifeline to the outside world – so as you can imagine we are devastated by the response we received we gave you three weeks to do the right thing before we went public with this.”

It was revealed that this week the family were back on discussions with the company, following exchanges on social media and reported that the company’s CEO and senior management team agreed to replace his wheelchair.

A spokesperson for Icelandair added: “Icelandair would like to again apologise for the delay in this resolution but is pleased that Drew is happy with the outcome and we hope to see him onboard again someday soon.”