A heartfelt message of Thanks from Azaria's Mum, Jo Moyze, documenting on how, with the help of Pompe Support Network, Azaria's life has been enhanced by her new rising wheelchair.
It was at an Ed Sheeran concert back in August 2019 that we first saw a wheelchair with a riser and decided then that would be a really useful feature to incorporate into all chairs! Imagine having conversations with people at their level, being able to reach things independently and being able to see things at the same level you used to, before needing the help of a chair.
However, it wasn’t until early this year, when Azaria had a review by Wheelchair Services that we were able to investigate this option. Sadly it isn’t an addition which they will fund for you, and I remembered a conversation I had had with Allan from the Pompe Support Network about Peter Allis Masters Charity funding motorised chairs. So I got back in touch with Allan to ask if they would be able to help by funding the riser. He approached the charity on our behalf and managed to secure the finance for us!
The day Azaria collected her new chair I was at work. When I got home I went to greet her as usual and she told me to wait, then rose up and gave me a hug at my height and said, you don’t need to bend down to hug me now! What a lovely moment. It has been beneficial in many ways, the riser allows her better access to the kitchen, and whilst there is an area of low worktop, the hob is a regular height, so it allows ‘stovetop’ cooking to be carried out more safely. One of her hamsters – Lily has an access door on the lid of her cage, which is now far more accessible and at the weekend we went on a local Scarecrow trail, and there was one clue that was under a bridge with a high wall, so she just rose up and was able to see it like the rest of the family. It has made Azaria feel more independent and also less disadvantaged, as there are things that she no longer misses out on because she is sat down too low.
The other good thing about Azaria’s new chair is that it is an outdoor/indoor chair rather than an indoor/outdoor chair – making it more robust on the tracks and grass that we are now using much more often as we go out with Bronte, her assistance dog! Back in Spring 2019 we started the process of applying for an assistance dog for Azaria. The process was delayed as we moved to a bungalow in between, and further still by the COVID pandemic. In March of this year we welcomed Bronte into our home. She is an adorable 2 ½ year old black Labrador, and is very keen to assist, helping Azaria removing clothes, picking things up that she has dropped, opening and shutting doors, flipping up/down footplates on her chair and she had helped build Azaria’s confidence to go out more, which, as all her close friends head off to University in September, I am very grateful for.
“It is amazing the improvement that these charities have brought to our lives – so big thanks to the Pompe Support Network, Peter Allis Masters and Dogs for Good!”