“I’ve been an active wheelchair user all my life”
I am a former wheelchair basketball international and five time Paralympian, in Rio 2016 I was there as assistant coach of the Dutch national team. I am father to three daughters, experiential expert, part of the Wheelchair Skills Team and a very active wheelchair user.
On my third I was diagnosed with polio, with paralysis of both legs as a result. Ever since I have been a very active wheelchair user. I got to know Vicair during the Handbike Battle 2019. I participated in the battle, Vicair were present as a sponsor and provided information about their wheelchair cushions. One thing led to another and I was invited to visit their office.
“The choice was easy, from the very first moment the Vicair Vector O2 just felt right”
I had an appointment with Jolanda and she had me try different cushions. The decision was made quite quickly, one of the cushions felt right from the moment I sat on it. I have been sitting on a Vicair Vector O2 for a couple of weeks now. My right leg has always been stronger than my left and because of that I have actually been sitting a bit crooked in my wheelchair. This cushion could easily be adjusted to that and the posture that I want to have in my wheelchair.
“I never really worried about my cushion, because I am not at high risk for pressure ulcers”
As an athlete and active wheelchair user I have always been very aware of my posture. I just never really worried about using a good wheelchair cushion because I still have sensation in my lower extremities, so the risk of a pressure injury is low. I didn’t realise that a good wheelchair cushion could also contribute a lot to your posture and yes… I just thought: “everyone’s back hurts every once in a while”. The pain just told me it was time to get into a different position. With my Vicair Vector O2 I no longer have to search for a position to avoid or deal with the pain in my back. I feel like I have a better seated position, that’s active at the same time, and like I am more at ease when I sit.
“I now share my experience with others during the Wheelchair Skills training that I give”
I use the experience that I have gained during the training that I give for Wheelchair Skills Team (NL). During these workshops I teach wheelchair skills to people of all ages – elderly and kids alike – to make them aware of the possibilities. Now that I know that a wheelchair cushion can greatly affect your posture, I share this knowledge with my ‘students’.
You don’t need to be at high risk developing pressure ulcers to benefit from a high quality wheelchair cushion. You also need it to have a good posture in your wheelchair. Just try it and experience it yourself. That’s what I did.