Megan marvels at her new mobility
Alongside her family, Megan Lavelle,18 from Liverpool with Holoprosencephaly, has discovered easier, more flexible mobility thanks to a new slimline specialist wheelchair from Recare.
Megan is a sociable teenager who loves spending time with family and friends. She is also a huge fan of live theatre, music, and the great outdoors. However, despite being grateful for a wheelchair from NHS Wheelchair Services, it proved increasingly impractical for her individual needs.
As Megan requires a carer controlled wheelchair to remain mobile, it became essential for her to find a more compact product for manoeuvrability around the home. Life was becoming increasingly frustrating for all the family – from negotiating doorways to locating Megan in their wheelchair accessible vehicle (WAV). Plus, her comfort was deteriorating due to a lack of specialist postural support when sitting – a narrow wheelchair for her slim frame could potentially solve this issue and open up a world of new lifestyle possibilities. Hence Megan’s mum, Leanne, started to research online for a possible alternative and came across Recare. This became a huge turning point for the whole family.
Richard Holland-Oakes, the co-founder of Recare went to visit Megan and her family to see if he could help. A specialist assessment of Megan’s needs was completed and with the family’s agreement, a PDG Mobility Fuze T50 Manual Wheelchair was prescribed. This product ‘ticked all the boxes’ as it solved the problems Megan was facing in terms of mobility. Its design was appropriate for her slim figure and offered the easier handling her parents desperately needed.
The T50’s tilt-in-space action would give Megan pressure relief and the addition of an activity tray meant hand therapy, reading and engagement with tactile objects would be far easier. Added to this, the T50 was available in pink which was perfect for Megan as she wanted a wheelchair that reflected her personality and was not just ‘boring black or grey’.
Following specification and delivery, Megan’s ownership of her new wheelchair has proven to be the ideal solution for greater enablement and inclusion. The family’s recent holiday in London proved indicative of how mobility is far easier for all of them now. Leanne explains:
“We decided to take the train to London. I was a little apprehensive as we went without my husband – just Megan, her younger brother Zak and me. However, it was easier than I thought it would be thanks to Megan’s new T50 wheelchair. On arrival there were plenty of ramps at Euston station and the staff were really helpful. We travelled around London using buses and taxis which worked fine as the wheelchair footprint is small. The buses were all accessible with ramps that came out to meet the pavement so I could wheel Megan onboard. We had such a fantastic time; so many highlights.”
“We visited the London Eye and Shrek Experience plus enjoyed a boat trip and even went to see Mama Mia at the Novello Theatre. Megan was in her element and again as her wheelchair is so slimline, we could get in and around the theatre without hassle. Quick and tight turns were no problem. Her wheelchair definitely saved the day so many times… what a trip!”
Back home Megan and her family continue to benefit from their new wheelchair. It means Megan can spend more time with her two younger brothers which cements their already close relationship. The family can enjoy coastal walks together and when Megan’s friends come around, quality time is easier to achieve. As Megan’s condition is similar to cerebral palsy, her assistive technology communication screen, which converts eye movements to speech, has been attached to her wheelchair for seamless interaction with everyone.
When Leanne is asked to summarise their experience with Recare she concludes:
“Richard and the team have been absolutely amazing. So understanding and so respectful. They really do care. We can’t recommend them enough. Throughout the whole process they have engaged with Megan, and I can honestly say, it’s been like an angel entering out lives! Before we found Recare we were at such a low point; we couldn’t find an answer and didn’t have the funds to get the chair we needed. Richard signposted us to a charity and all of a sudden the T50 became a reality. We were so used to being knocked back; it was like a miracle. Richard told us he would ‘sort it all out for us’ and he did.”