Lauren, an engaging pre-teen, was diagnosed at 4 months old with Cerebral Palsy (CP) and has a history of epilepsy, currently under control with medication. Lauren happily splits family time between her mum Ann’s house and her dad Kevin’s house that he shares with partner Nicola and her children, Tom and Harry, age 10 and 12. The extended family are extremely supportive of each other and determined to provide ideal care for Lauren’s requirements. When Lauren broke her leg falling from a swing in 2015, Kevin took a month off work and he, Nicola and Ann worked together to provide Lauren with vital support in both homes – including carrying her to upstairs bedrooms and endeavouring to maintain a normal routine for Lauren, which is so important to her.
Following this difficult period, Lauren is now happily 90% recovered and the family aim to keep Lauren as mobile as possible. Although she has a right-sided hemiplegia and wears a calliper to keep her ankle straight, Lauren enjoys walking at home and using the stairs. Lauren attends Exeter House Special School where she uses an R82 Crocodile walker, receives physio on a weekly basis and regular use of the hydro pool.
Lauren requires a specialist wheelchair for longer distances as she has Hypotonia in her trunk, meaning she has low tone. She needs a chair that supports her in an upright seating position, with a 4-point lap belt to keep her hips fixed. Unfortunately, a chair provided by Wheelchair Services, provided inadequate support and caused Lauren to sink into the seat, which in turn has led to rounded shoulders. Lauren also used the fixed footrest plates to push away. The family sought a replacement wheelchair that could provide optimal back support for a growing child and the correct seating position to resolve these issues. Ideally they also needed a wheelchair that could be easily folded and lifted into a car. They were fortunate to meet Etac R82 Product Advisor Sarah Aspinall who was visiting Lauren’s specialist school to demonstrate Etac’s Cross 5 wheelchair.
Sarah Aspinall felt the Cross 5 would provide Lauren with ideal posture positioning to help with the low tone in her trunk. She explains: “Crucially, the shape of the Etac Cross 5‘s back rest can supply Lauren with maximum support through her spine whilst still allowing her free movement in the wheelchair. The unique 3A backrest and seat are adjustable in height, angle and shape and the footrests can be set in different positions. So not only can the wheelchair be made bespoke for Lauren’s current needs, but simple alterations will allow for growth spurts or changing body shape. The Cross 5 can provide Lauren with enhanced balance and stability, meaning she is less likely to slide forwards in the seat.” Read more….