I am disabled and have decided to write this so as to provide a resource for other people with disabilities to promote travelling as well as a record for our travels. My dear husband Pete is the photographer as I can no longer hold a camera up for long enough (or high enough) to take anything even slightly decent. And he is doing a brilliant job.
My condition is Muscular Dystrophy (FHS MD), Scapuloperoneal which at this point means I mobilise predominantly using a walker (zimmer frame) and wear KAFO's on both legs. KAFO - Knee Ankle Foot Orthotics (I refer to these as 'my legs') which prevents foot drop and hyper-extension of the knees. I have been wearing these for about 10 years and the most recent 'models' are made of carbonfibre by Townsend in the USA.
I do have a Jazzy 1121 at home for seating which is invaluable.
Outside of the home I use a Puzzle Chair by Heartway which is brilliant. Below are photos of the chair assembled and in it's three parts. All together the chair weighs approx. 42 kgs. So in the three parts it is light enough for anyone to lift in and out of the boot of a car.
Puzzle Chair assembled
|The three parts|
|The Base and Battery|
|Stacked - fits nicely into a car boot|
2013. I am currently being reassessed for my wheelchair needs, so fingers crossed. And at the same time - a vehicle assessment. Will keep you posted.
June 2013 - I took delivery of my new powerchair! LevoC3. This powerchair weighs somewhat more than my puzzlechair and comes in at 180 kgs! (without me)
This chair is fully funded under the New Zealand Ministry of Health system. I qualify as I am employed full time and the chair allows me to continue to be a fully functioning person in the community - i.e. I can still pay taxes! and not a beneficiary. The chair is supplied in New Zealand by Euromedical.
Standing in the LevoC3 using foot plates - can have eye contact with people. Get when at the pub as I can also interact with those on a high table!
Fits under the dining table and the arms can be lifted out of the way
Want a glass of wine - yes please!
Making a cup of tea!
This photo shows the transfer from the chair to walking - standing not using the footplates.
At the same time as receive the LevoC3 we took delivery of a WAV (Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle). We have a UDM Skoda Yeti (UDrive Mobility) modified here in New Zealand. The New Zealand company has now entered into a joint venture and producing the cars in France for the European market.
Rear hatch / trunk opens using remote on key fob
Open ready to access
Note the drivers position is vacant, ready for a wheelchair user to lock in to position. The two rear passenger seats are folded away to the side. Very easy to unfold and use. Vehicle becomes a four- seater quickly with plenty of luggage space
Wheel chair docking into position. Rear hatch / trunk can be shut either by remote control or using a button on the dash.
The car is a great length as I find if I park right to the front of a space I can open the rear hatch and exit without being in the traffic flow - although I am very careful as people are not always aware of how close they are to parked cars.