The National Health Wheelchair Service for the UK refused to give me the freedom of going in a wheelchair so I could get outside my room. I was apparently too unwell and they didn’t see it as a good investment in their funds. Surprisingly, this was when the service was actually working reasonably well.
My first wheelchair was fundraised by my friends and the incredible Adam York, who transformed my life. It meant that I was able to get out of my world of one room. The amount was raised in just over 12 hours! At the time I wasn’t well enough to look into anything but a manual wheelchair. I had no strength in my arms to even push a button let alone control a chair. I can never thank all my friends enough, especially Adam for arranging it.
Once the money had been raised, a very shocked me had to choose a wheelchair. I knew nothing about wheelchairs so had no idea what I was doing. All I knew was it needed to tilt and recline. Thankfully, a lady called Pat who I’ve known all my life came to my rescue and introduced me to an incredible company called Cinque Ports Mobility Ltd in Folkestone, Kent.
They are not salesmen. They care about making sure you have the right wheelchair that suits your needs. Chris brought around an electric wheelchair to just show me what he had but immediately decided that it was not right at the moment. We went for a tilt space chair that was manual. The joy was seeing my garden for the first time since 2006. Incredible. That wheelchair (named Black Beauty) will always be the one that ticked off my ‘firsts’. The first time I reached Bluebell Hill, the first time I saw the road that I lived on and the first time I could go on a ride in an adapted car. There were just so many.
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