21-year-old Zoe’s life has been transformed by a grant for an electric wheelchair.
The young woman, who lives just outside of Glasgow, has spina bifida and relies on a wheelchair to get around. Zoe, who recently underwent her 57th operation, was desperate for a new wheelchair as her old one kept breaking down.
Her new electric wheelchair, which Children Today provided funding for, has given Zoe more independence, comfort and happiness.
During the first national lockdown, Zoe and her family spent four months in isolation; as Zoe has chronic lung disease. When it was deemed safe to venture outside, Zoe and her parents were keen to get out and about again.
Zoe’s mum, Jacqueline, says: “It was difficult self-isolating for all that time, so we were all more than ready to go for a big walk when the Covid-19 measures were relaxed. Unfortunately, Zoe’s electric wheelchair broke down and we had to push her all the way back home.
“It had also broken down a few times while Zoe was in college. We tried a new battery first, but it didn’t work so we were desperate for a replacement.
“It’s really great to have a wheelchair now which we know is going to be reliable and not break down. We’ve now got the confidence to go out and know that everything is going to be alright with it. We won’t have to worry when we’re out and about anymore.”
The 21-year-old tried wheelchairs provided by the NHS, but as Zoe has a number of rods and pins in her back, the chairs weren’t padded enough to provide suitable comfort.
With her new, adapted equipment the young woman can be raised up and independently reach high surfaces along with being able to sit at eye level with her loved ones.
Jacqueline explains: “Knowing that it’s comfortable and that she can go into a shop and look at the top shelf independently without me having to be with her is brilliant.
“Once lockdown restrictions ease and gatherings are permitted again Zoe can’t wait to dance eye-to-eye with her family at parties!
“It’s also really helped with Zoe’s personal care and things like a trip to the dentist too. She can now comfortably recline in the chair and be cared for, without having to be hoisted up out of her chair each time – which was necessary with her old equipment. For her carers and for me as a parent, it’s a massive help.”
Children Today awarded Zoe the full amount of £6,110,00 in funding in conjunction with another charity, for her wheelchair which was supplied by Fast Aid Medical and Mobility. The supplier also kindly added a tray for free which provides Zoe, who is studying work readiness, with a surface to do her college work. Her pet dog also likes to use it as a seat!
The new chair, which has a memory foam seat and curves in at the back to help with her posture, not only saves a lot of time but is also beneficial from a safety aspect too. Jacqueline adds: “We’ve noticed a big difference in how much better Zoe can move around at home too, as this wheelchair has six wheels, she can get around sharp corners with ease. We’re so happy with it and just want to say a big thank you to Children Today!”
Zoe has her own YouTube channel and posted a video thanking Children Today for her new wheelchair which you can watch here: https://bit.ly/33qFaRW