Safe Wheelchair for Rebecca
I have fantastic news! My new wheelchair is arriving a week on Monday! Please read the latest update for more details.
I'm raising money for a new powerchair to enable me to live my life as safely and independently as possible.
I have a range of conditions including Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS), which causes severe pain; Generalised Hypemobility Spectrum Disorder (g-HSD), causes fatigue and frequent dislocations; and Postural Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS), which causes rapid heart rate, light headedness and fainting when sitting upright or standing.
I currently use a Quickie Rumba powerchair to get around but this has no suspension and poor shock absorbancy. Due to this I am regularly having dislocations and subluxations (partial dislocations) from just going over small bumps such as when mounting a dropped curb.
In addition to needing a chair with better suspension I need to be able to alter my position through the day to reduce pain and the likelihood of POTS attacks. Currently if I have to spend more than a few hours at a time in my wheelchair I'm left having to take extra pain killers due to the pain sitting in one position all day causes. I am also becoming accustomed to having to get out of my chair and lie down on the floor in order to regulate my heart rate. A chair which had a powered tilt and recline would eliminate the need to do this.
I'm currently waiting for an NHS assessment for a new powerchair. So far I've been waiting for an appointment to come through since May and my local services are so over-stretched that they cannot estimate how long the wait for an assessment will be.
Powered wheelchairs are extremely expensive and technical pieces of kit. Even my current very basic chair costs around £2,500. There are a couple of models of chair which may be suitable all at around the £10,000 price point if not higher.
I will use some of the funds to book a private assessment to help me choose my wheelchair if an NHS assessment takes too long to happen.
If when I get an assessment the NHS Wheelchair services offer me some funding I will adjust the goal accordingly.
In the unlikely event that NHS Wheelchair services offer me the full funding for a chair which will meet my needs I will offer donors a refund or donate it to another disabled person crowdfunding for a mobility aid.
If there are any surplus funds left over after the purchase of a powerchair I will donate these to another disabled person who is also crowdfunding for a mobility aid.
In December I finally got an appointment for a wheelchair assessment through NHS wheelchair services.
At this appointment the rehab specialist and the occupational therapist agreed that I needed a wheelchair with a tilt and recline function on it and said they would prescribe this. I couldn't believe it! I was dying to tell everyone but I kept quiet because it needed to be agreed by the trust and may have been refused.
The model the NHS would supply (Quickie Salsa M2) just about fits my needs and the added benefit of the NHS maintaining/repairing the chair meant that I chose to go with that option.
However there were issues with getting the NHS trust to agree to fund it and then issues with them actually releasing the funding, so we have been back and forth in phone calls and complaints since then.
Just yesterday I got a call from wheelchair services saying that my new wheelchair will be delivered on 21st May, just over a week's time. I am overjoyed!
So, what happens with the money we raised? I would like to pass this along to someone else who needs a mobility aid but is struggling to get one through other means. However, I recognise that a lot of you made a big sacrifice in your own life when choosing to donate and I want to honour that by returning the money (less processing fees) should you want it back.
In the next couple of days I will email donors to ask what they would like me to do with their individual donation.
Thank you all once again for your support. Here's a picture of my dog being cute to celebrate
I'm humbled and thankful for every single person's support. Hopefully this will mean I can't get a safe and comfortable wheelchair soon.