Recare helps death-defying Gordon rebuild life with F1 inspired powered wheelchair
Gordon Swift, 55, from South Anston, has regained off road independence with an F1-inspired Trekinetic powered wheelchair from Recare following a life-threatening motorcycling accident.
Gordon was born and bred in South Yorkshire and lives in between Sheffield and Worksop with his wife. Before his accident, Gordon enjoyed 27 years at a machine engineering business; beginning as an apprentice in 1982 and working his way up to Works Manager. Gordon was responsible for a team who machined vehicle components including parts for the Ministry of Defence. These parts had to be machined with ultra-precision, commonly for military tanks, so Gordon can fully appreciate quality product design when he sees it. He thrived on the pressures of his job, the kind of pressure ‘other people would run away from’ as he puts it. This was a career he was thoroughly enjoying until being hit by an out-of-control oncoming car when riding his Yamaha 1,000cc motorbike. Since this significant life-changing RTA in June 2007, Gordon has focused on rebuilding his life and remaining as independent as possible – his ownership of a Trekinetic GTE is helping him achieve this goal.
Gordon lives with severely restricted mobility due to the many injuries he sustained. With only a 6% chance of survival, Gordon managed to pull through this horrendous ordeal and begin a long road to recovery. He has undergone multiple reconstructive surgeries on both arms and his right leg; including amputation below the knee. This resulted in Gordon using prosthetics to walk since December 2007; however problems with recent equipment and further medical complications have reduced his abilities to a few metres before pain becomes a barrier.
An indoor electric wheelchair was providing mobility at home however was not suitable for outdoor use, especially along off-road trails in the countryside. So, Gordon decided to research all terrain solutions – he first came across Trekinetic in the specialist Step Forward magazine. He made contact with the manufacturer who signposted him towards a specialist Trekinetic dealer – Recare. Recare arranged for a clinical assessment of Gordon’s needs at his home by one of its specialist product advisors.
Recare is a respected, family-run rehabilitation and mobility equipment distributor which supports individuals with varying disabilities across the UK. It has been a long-standing supplier of award-winning Trekinetic wheelchairs and powerchairs which are manufactured in the UK with leading-edge Formula 1 engineering. Gordon was given a test drive of a Trekinetic GTE powerchair to ascertain if it was suitable for his requirements from a comfort and postural point of view. Unlike any other product on the market, the GTE is an ultra-lightweight, three-wheel all terrain powered wheelchair with exceptional durability and ergonomics which is stated as ‘the most advanced wheelchair on the planet.’ Gordon’s ability to control the chair with confidence and tackle terrain that would be typical on a daily basis were tested during the assessment. As soon as Gordon sat in the GTE he knew it was the solution for him.
“Ray from Recare brought a Trekinetic GTE for me to try; it was amazing to sit in. I immediately knew it was what I needed. The camber on the wheels and rear suspension made a huge difference to the stability of it even on rough ground. As I used to be an engineer, I really appreciate the quality – it is so well made. I have a Scorpion 3 kit car in the garage at home so know all about carbon fibre. It is a brilliant material which is used so well in the GTE. Makes it so lightweight and manoeuvrable.”
Within two weeks of GTE ownership Gordon had already managed to visit his son in North Anston using his powerchair. Between South and North Anston there is a substantial hill which had always been an impossible barrier to overcome in a manual chair. With the power and performance of the GTE Gordon was able to drive there ‘without any complaints, my chair simply sailed up the slope’. This was a significant milestone for Gordon and is indicative of a wider world of opportunities that Recare have facilitated for him. He fully recommends their service and has been very impressed right from initial contact through to ongoing after sales check-ups.
Gordon has now owned his Trekinetic for a few months and is benefiting from assured freedom outdoors. He is able to tackle the bridleway near his home with ease and walk his son’s two Corgies, Abbey and Melon. Once lockdown restrictions are lifted, Gordon and his wife plan to visit Derbyshire now that they have the means to enjoy countryside rambles together. Gordon used to enjoy riding his motorbike around the Derbyshire hills. He concludes:
“Returning to Derbyshire and having the freedom to explore will be special for me. I have a range of up to 12 miles with my two batteries so ample for a day trip to take in the amazing scenery. I’m equipped with a Go Pro camera so I am planning to record my journeys. The GTE is such a fantastic piece of kit. Life has changed for the better now.”