16-year-old Sophie from Pacific Pines, Qld, has been awarded just over $10,000 towards the cost of modifications to her family’s car which will enable her new wheelchair to be easier to load, fit better and make her safer while travelling in the car.
Sophie has a diagnosis of Retts Syndrome, Cerebral Palsy (Spastic Quadriplegia) and Epilepsy so she has high care needs requiring frequent travel with her parents between the Gold Coast and Brisbane area for medical and therapy appointments.
She lives at home with mum Tracey, father Drew and her two brothers and Tracey is Sophie’s full time carer and drives her to all her doctors.
Sophie’s wheelchair is hoisted into the car so requires specialist equipment to enable it to fit safely and help to lessen the load for her carers. Recently prescribed a new wheelchair by her physiotherapist meant the family car also had to be modified and this is where JMA has been able to help by assisting with the purchase of a new wheelchair docking station and hoist.
Sophie’s new wheelchair has power assist wheels to make it easier to push as Sophie grows, so it needed a new and better tie down system as well as a more effective hoist for safer loading of Sophie and the wheelchair. The new hoist also has a platform that allows the carer to stand with Sophie so they can keep an eye on her in case of seizures or breathing difficulties which she can experience.
Another benefit of the new docking station and hoist is that it will be easier to operate and so be kinder on Sophie’s mum and other carers who are constantly at risk of injury to their hands and back.