Tuesday, 25 June 2019

Powerchair Update | What Happened To My Old Powerchair?

Disclaimer: The upgrade to my own powerchair and my old powerchair being donated was provided by Quantum for free, but I am not paid by them. 

In a powerchair update last year I shared with you the exciting news that Quantum (the company who make my incredible powerchar) had kindly offered to upgrade my Edge 2.0 powerchair to the newer model, the Edge 3.0. I actually ended up being the first person in the UK to have the powerchair and the upgrade has been incredible for me. I was hesitant to accept it though since I had fundraised for my powerchair and I only had it because of the kindness of others, so I wanted to make sure that I was honouring that if I went ahead with the upgrade. Well, between Quantum and I we came up with an idea, they offered to take the base of my old powerchair and add seating and anything else needed so we could donate it to someone. It's so important to me to pass on the kindness shown to me and so this was the perfect way to make sure that the gift given to me would not go to waste, to me I was seeing it as being able to change not only my life but now someone else's too. It's taken a while to organise but I am so over the moon to say that we found someone and have delivered the chair!


I've known Faith online for a little while, we'd talked occasionally and I was aware of her situation with her own NHS powerchair from our conversations when I got my new chair. She was an example of how even when you receive NHS help, many people end up with the wrong chair. She hadn't been measured properly so it didn't even fit her, causing a great deal of discomfort. It defeated it's own purpose, a wheelchair is something that is meant to give you more freedom but like with my own first powerchair, Faith's was limiting her. She needed something that was measured to her, designed to fit her life and her need's and something that would enable her to enjoy the things she loves doing most, like going to concerts and festivals. It's not much to ask for, but the NHS just couldn't deliver. So, she was a natural choice when I was trying to find someone. My situation prior to receiving my current powerchair was very similar to hers and so I knew how much of a difference a new powerchair would make to her life. I was so excited to be on the other end of things!


Once we'd offered Faith the powerchair Quantum were able to get someone out to her to measure her properly, making sure the powerchair was right for her life and then we got the ball rolling! Finally a month ago myself and a few of the Quantum team travelled up to Leeds to deliver the chair to Faith, a day I'd been looking forward to ever since we made the decision. I will remember that day and Faith's reaction to seeing the chair, and sitting in it, for the first time for a long while. The joy and relief was clear to see and I immediately knew that it was going to the right home. Almost instantly she said she was sitting differently because it was made to fit her. Like me, Faith really puts her wheelchair through its paces in what she does and I know for sure that this will enable her to do things that have been difficult or impossible before now.

Faith's powerchair also has the iLevel function, something I now use on a daily basis to help me do everything from give standing ovations in theatres to hugging my girlfriend. It has made an undeniable difference to my life and I'm over the moon to see it change someone else's life too. I already know that it will transform her experiences at concerts and festivals, as well as in her everyday life.


I truly knew we'd made the right decision when Faith sent me a text a couple of weeks back after she'd gone on a 5 mile trip down to her local canal and shop, the joy was clear to see. Sometimes it's the simple things, going to the local shop was one of the first things I did in my powerchair. Whilst it doesn't compare to the things I do on a weekly basis now it proves how much of daily life disabled people miss out on when we don't have the right equipment.

I will keep you all updated on how Faith is getting on with the chair across social media (@shonalouiseblog on Twitter and Instagram). I'm so excited to see all the adventures she goes on! Look out for another powerchair update from me in a couple of months too, it's almost 18 months since I received my chair! I can't wait to share what I've been up to in the last 6 months.
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