I’m Kayleigh. I’m 18 years old and I am the South West representative of Whizz-Kidz’s Kidz Board. On Tuesday May 19th I completed my Whizz-Kidz quest when I received my very own wheelchair.
Previously I have received three wheelchairs from the NHS, all of which were unsuitable and this meant my confidence and independence were severely knocked. We then received a voucher from the NHS, which we used to buy the cheapest active manual chair possible. It constantly broke and was a danger to my safety as well as my independence. We began the application process to Whizz-Kidz.
I loved the application process because they gave me so many options to really make the chair my own. They focused on my lifestyle as well as ensuring that my medical needs were met. I also loved that they discussed things with my own Occpational Therapist. Having someone who knew me contributing to the application allowed me to focus more on what I wanted from the chair, such as colour and style.
I loved that I could research the chairs through the Whizz-Kidz website and App. I suggested to Whizz-Kidz that the K series would be the perfect chair for me, and Helen (my Whizz-Kidz therapist) agreed.
The day I received my chair I have never been so excited in my life! I had to go to classes that day so through Whizz-Kidz’s Man in a Van scheme we had it delivered straight to college. Helen attended and also Jonathan, an engineer. They wheeled it into the room and I squealed with excitement! It was perfect, every concern I had about it ‘not being right’ was blown away and I was presented with the most beautiful ‘chariot’ I have ever seen!
During the fitting I wasn’t patronized, the team just ensured that I would be safe and made decisions based on my needs and skills. Having Jonathan there meant that we could adjust things there and then which meant it was ready to go that day. I learnt all the tricks to disassembling the chair and had time to try it out.
The chair is so light and compact, so I have had to retrain my skills to adapt to the new style! So we made a plan that for a while I would have someone behind me to ensure I was safe whilst I built my confidence with the style of the new chair.
Looking in the mirror I felt confident and pretty. I have now had this chair for a few weeks and it has been wonderful! I have been able to wheel myself everywhere and have been really confident to get involved without feeling like a burden. I could not be more thankful, after receiving this chair I am ready to continue chasing my dreams. I am so excited to see what new adventures this chair will take me on, and feel it is going to be the start of a new life for me.