Increasing Confidence and Independence

A 27-year-old mature student from Liverpool who is diagnosed with cerebral palsy has received an Enable grant for a new lightweight wheelchair to increase her independence.

Lisa, whose condition also leads to back and neck pain, is a full-time wheelchair user who has also been diagnosed with ‘trigger thumb’, a painful repetitive strain injury which was made worse by needing to self-propel her previous chair.

She studies music at Liverpool Hope University, and would one day like to teach music to disabled children, but had been facing problems as her previous wheelchair was not compatible with being able to be transported via a remote electronic mechanism in her Motability car.

“That meant Lisa was dependent upon having someone with her for all journeys, to lift her chair in and out of her car,” explains Lindsey De Bartolo, Enable Funding Officer with the Steve Morgan Foundation.

“She has found this very difficult to manage, particularly when her classes have been changed at short notice and she has had to miss them. 

“This lack of independence has caused her stress, frustration and anxiety – and increased feelings of isolation.”

Lisa received an Enable grant of £4,474 towards a new folding Quickie Xenon Wheelchair, enabling her to independently use her car, of particular importance to help attend work placements and improve her future employability chances.

The lightness of this wheelchair has also made it easier and less painful for Lisa to self-propel and the special hand rims have greatly reduced the symptoms in her thumbs and wrists. 

Lisa had also suffered several falls in recent times when travelling over uneven ground, causing both injury and a loss of confidence, and a Freewheel attachment, a large wheel for the front of the wheelchair, has helped it become more stable.

“This addition to the chair has enabled Lisa to travel outdoors without fear of tipping over and helped build her confidence and independence, with significant impact upon her mental wellbeing,” added Lindsey.

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