When my new Quickie Krypton R arrived - it makes me think back to how I felt after my accident and my thoughts now. I feel so incredibly lucky to have this smart lightweight wheelchair. I am certainly not embarrassed but I am proud. I am not sad or angry but excited, happy and grateful. The lightweight Krypton helps my independence, being able to get it in and out my car easily and without straining my arms. It feels stylish and neat too. I am also aware that my arms get a lot of use and the Krypton is so easy to push along it is much less wear and tear on my arms.
These are exciting times for gymnast, Tiri Hughes. The 19-year-old, who is originally from South Devon, has recently started her first year at Oxford University, studying medicine.
Tiri is an occasional wheelchair user, opting at other times to use a crutch to get her up and about and prevent muscle wastage. She says: “I have H-Ehlers Danlos Syndrome and secondary Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (as well as my visual impairment, which is totally separate). These cause chronic pain, joint instability, weakness, dizziness and fatigue.”
There comes a time in everyone’s life, generally when they are aged between 16 and 18 where they are asked a very important question; who do you want to be? That is when you start to ponder… Do you want to join the civil service? Go to business school? Attend college? Or maybe something else entirely?
I try to live my life to the fullest the best I can. I try to have a positive outlook on life and surround myself with positive people. Of course, there are many challenges I face as a wheelchair user, but I believe the first hurdle you must get over is the in the mind. Once you have conquered that, then you can deal with other challenges you may face.
I have been modelling for the past year and a half, after I was spotted in Canary Wharf by two model scouts from Zebedee Management and the next day I was signed to the agency.
David Smith, or ‘Smithy’ (there were a lot of Davids at his school) has been an active contributor to the Sunrise Medical blog for a while now. His extensive experience of travelling with a powered wheelchair meant he could offer helpful updates to our article about travelling by aeroplane with a wheelchair and he has also written a really informative piece on his real passion, Boccia.