A shining light amidst 2020.
We thank Country Vic OT for sharing Nicole’s story below:
This is Nicole. She is a 39 year old lady with cerebral palsy. She lives in supported accommodation with some of the most dedicated and caring support workers (Cooinda Terang).
I received a referral for Nicole to assess her appropriateness for a self controlled powered wheelchair. As well as being predominantly paralysed in all four limbs with severe contractures, Nicole is non verbal and has limited movement in her head and hands and primarily uses her eyes to communicate- which isn’t overly effective. It was difficult to assess Nicole’s cognition and to determine her ability to self drive a powered wheelchair- trial was the only way to know.
The first photo is the hire wheelchair she was in on my first visit. Sad is an understatement (look at her head position).
With the help of the ever so knowledgeable and willing Kelvin from Active Rehab in Bendigo (Life Beyond the Norm), she is in her new wheelchair which NDIS approved and funded ($26000).
It might look like just another wheelchair to the naked eye but if you look closely it has all been customised for Nicole including a cushion which has leg cut outs to accomodate her severe leg discrepancy and a back rest which supports her scoliosis and assists with further contractures.
This wheelchair has not only helped Nicole with mobility but it has given her more function and independence than was ever predicted.She now takes herself to her room when she’s tired. She takes her washing to the laundry. She ventures out in the yard when SHE wants to. AND she is now mostly continent as she takes herself to the bathroom door when she needs to go.
Shared with consent.
This wheelchair has enhanced Nicole’s communication, her mobility, her independence, her dignity and her right to live a meaningful life.