"In May 2009 during surgery, I suffered a spinal bleed due to inadequate monitoring. I sustained a spinal cord injury which paralysed me from the chest down.

After the sustaining the injury I rarely left the house. I couldn’t do so unaccompanied and required assistance wherever I went. I withdrew socially and felt completely miserable. 

I knew I had to do something so I started researching my options. I thought a powered wheelchair would really assist me in getting back my independence but they were just so expensive. The cost of my injury was really getting me down, everything was so expensive and there seemed to be no end and no one willing to help. I felt like I was left completely on my own.

“Just for someone to say ‘we are going to help you and you don’t need to do everything alone’, was just incredible.”

It was whilst at Stanmore on a post-discharge appointment when I was speaking to my occupational therapist about powered wheelchairs. It was then that I was informed about Aspire Grants. Someone was finally able to help me purchase equipment. I had a look at the process and it was so easy that I decided to apply.

I was so please when I heard my application had been successful. Not only would I be getting something that would increase my independence, but just for someone to say ‘we are going to help you and you don’t need to do everything alone’, was just incredible.

“Even the little things matter a huge amount, being able to cook for myself to reach things with ease and not continually have to ask people for assistance is just great.”

Since I received the powered wheelchair my life has changed dramatically. I have gone from hardly leaving the house in five years to being able to go out on my own. I even have a car now! I can come and go as I please. Even the little things matter a huge amount, being able to cook for myself to reach things with ease and not continually have to ask people for assistance is just great.

I was at a flower show recently which I really enjoy. Before I had my Powered Wheelchair I could rarely see anything due to the crowds. Now I am able to adjust my height on the chair and enjoy things I would have otherwise missed.  I’m rarely in the house anymore and in fact, I’m just on my way out again now."

Claire in her new powered wheelchair

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