14-year-old Andie from Leicestershire was born with Rett Syndrome, a rare genetic disorder that affects brain development, resulting in severe levels of mental and physical disabilityIt is estimated to affect about 1 in 12,000 girls born each year and is only rarely seen in boys.

Although Andie has always been able to take a few steps and weight bear if supported by someone, she has used a manual wheelchair from a very early age.  However, by the age of 10 Andie’s parents Phil and Missy decided the time had come to look into powerchairs as it was getting increasingly difficult to push Andie in her manual chair as Missy explains: “I gave up my career as a nurse to be Andie’s full time carer and the continuous lifting of Andie and pushing her in her chair put extreme levels of pressure on my body resulting in more and more frequent bouts of pain.  We started to look at powerchairs and eventually went for a Balder powerchair which had already been fitted with a Consolor ( ) seating system”.

Over the next few years the Balder chair worked well for Andie but eventually it started to show its age and in April 2018 Andi, Phil and Missy agreed the time had come to find a replacement. The first obstacle was funding.  “We contacted NewLife who were just amazing as unlike some charities they do not means test you when applying for a grant.  I am lucky as unlike Missy, I have been able to continue my career and while we try to cover the cost for as much as possible it is simply not feasible when it comes to larger items such as a powerchair” explained Phil.

With funding in place, Andie, Phil and Missy started looking for a suitable replacement but found themselves being let down on several occasions.  They then attended Naidex to see what was available as they were determined to find a powerchair which could match the performance of the Balder and be fitted with a new Consolor system as this has worked so well for Andie previously. “As soon as we saw the Paravan PR30 we loved it, but were unsure if it would work with a Consoler system.  However, Matt immediately put our minds at rest as he explained how the PR30 was available as a chassis only model onto which a Consolor seat system could be mounted” continued Phil.

Every powerchair supplied by Precision Rehab is bespoke so what the family were looking for was not that unusual as Director Matt James explains.  “On meeting the family it was clear that they liked the Balder chair and Consolor seat system and very much wanted to stay with a similar combination even though other manufactures had promised to deliver this solution but failed.  As we can offer a Paravan PR30 chassis only model we knew that mounting a Consolor seat system would not be a problem once we had discussed this with Charley at Consolor.  It was agreed that we would supply the chair with an interface to take the Consolor seat system and still keep our unique seat slide function which Andie, Phil and Missy all loved.  We delivered the PR30 direct to Consolor so they could install their adapter plate which allows the seat to be used on the new chair and her manual chair”.

Precision Rehab has strong relationships with many seating manufacturers which is a benefit to clients when they are looking for a bespoke solution.  Charley from Consolor explains how they worked with Matt: “When Matt got in touch to discuss Andie we already knew the family having carried out a seating assessment in November 2017 he explained that Andie and her parents were now looking for a new Consoler seat to go with her new Paravan PR30 powerchair.  We then worked together to conduct assessments to ensure the seating and powerchair combination would meet all Andie’s requirements with regards to comfort and support while ensuring all the control options were in the best location. Andie’s reaction and that of Phil and Missy when myself and Matt handed over the new chair made all the hard work worthwhile and we look forward to working with Matt and the team at Precision Rehab on future projects”.

During the assessments, Missy had explained to Matt her difficulties when driving the Balder with an attendant control, so Precision Rehab fitted the new Mo-Vis scoot attendant control to Andie’s PR30. This new system, together with the modern R-net controls makes driving the powerchair very easy for Missy or anyone else.  This is the first powerchair in the UK to have the Mo-vis system fitted which is complimented by the fitting of a gyro stability control to help when controlling the chair outdoors where there can be dropped or uneven paths.  “The attendant control is simply amazing as is the onboard charger and mount for Andie’s eye gaze computer which is her communication device and enables her to join in all the time, just like everyone else.  It is hard to put into words how easy it is to operate and what a huge difference it has made to me as Andie’s full-time carer” commented Missy.

The family are delighted with Andie’s new Paravan PR30 powerchair and Consolor seating system.  “From the first time we met Matt at Naidex we were immediately impressed.  Matt clearly knows what he is talking about and was helpful and professional throughout, often making suggestions which we hadn’t even thought of.  We knew we were asking for the limit in terms of what he could achieve with a bespoke powerchair for Andie but together with the guys at Consolor he didn’t let us down.  The end result is superb, Andie loves her new chair and we would not hesitate in recommending Precision Rehab and Consoler to anyone looking for a bespoke powerchair and seating solution” concluded Phil.

Precision Rehab is a family business, run by Matthew James and his wife Emma.  The Precision Rehab team has over 25 years’ experience in the assessment, sales & servicing of specialist powerchairs.