I am trying to raise £3648 for a lightweight rigid wheelchair. My current wheelchair is heavy and bulky in comparison and is also harder to propel as well as stow in a car when driving.
Two years ago I became paraplegic as a result of a spinal anaesthetic which has prevented my brain from communicating with the nerves that control anything below my waist. Prior to this I walked, worked and enjoyed volunteering within my local community. As I am sure you can imagine, I have had a very steep learning curve and had to make several adjustments to my life. I am now at the stage where I am getting more used to being in a wheelchair and am wanting to do more and more, hence my request for your support and donations.
Having been unable to drive since becoming paraplegic my current wheelchair has been sufficient. However, now I am beginning to go out more, and in the process of getting a car I want to begin volunteering again, with the hope using this as a step to getting back to work. In order to get my current chair into a car I have to fold it in half, fold the back down and take the wheels off, leaving the frame weighing 12kg. Whilst I can then just about lift that into the back seat of a car, it is heavy and requires twisting and puts my shoulder and back at risk on injury. The rigid frame light weight chairs need the back folding and the wheels removing but leave a frame that weighs 7kg. This difference allows me to be able to pull the frame across me and stow it in the front passenger foot well and involves no twisting. A much safer solution. This not only allows me to commute more easily, but would also let me return to giving lifts to people unable to get themselves to hospitals and shops etc., helping them retain independence.
A rigid wheelchair is also designed to be much more compact than my current chair. Not only does this allow me to manoeuvre more easily around, it also would let me volunteer in places such as charity offices or shops which tend to be quite tight for space. The length of the wheelchair I currently have is approximately 30cm longer than the rigid chair.
So having a light weight rigid wheelchair will not just improve my quality of life, but will increase the places that I can access to volunteer at.
I have been assessed for a lightweight rigid chair and received some quotes, the cheapest of which is for the GTM Mustang, pictures of this chair and my current chair, an Excel G-Lite Pro are attached to demonstrate the differences between the two chairs.
I would be extremely grateful for any donations which would help me reach my target, gain more freedom in my life and start to volunteer so I can help others who are not as fortunate as I am.
GTM Mustang light weight rigid wheelchair
My current wheelchair, a G-Lite Pro
Folded G-Lite Pro
GTM Mustang frame only (the back also folds down leaving an L shaped frame)