Adrian arrived at the wheelchair clinic this morning around 9:30 am, and was the last child to leave tonight – at 9:00 pm. This very long day began with a two hour drive from his home in Ica before the wheelchair work even began. According to his family he was up at 5 am, excited to receive his new chair! Adrian has athetoid cerebral palsy, which means that he has involuntary uncontrolled movements. His feet and hands can be quite dangerous to those who get in the way and do not understand his condition. No one is more aware of this potential to harm others than Adrian himself. He arrived in an ill-fitting wheelchair this morning with a ten pound weight strapped to one arm, and the other pinned behind his back. He liked this position because it meant that he could not hurt anyone by mistake. He and his parents really wanted a customized wheelchair that would help him feel safe and protect others. How many of us can imagine wanting to be strapped down to gain better control and avoid hurting other people?
Over almost 12 hours Adrian’s wheelchair team did an amazing job of creating a unique chair to meet his unique needs. When “Plan A” (extremity straps) failed, they went on to “Plan B” and so on. At last success was achieved with custom fabricated arm troughs including padded straps. It was a huge group effort with Kim Davis as the lead therapist and April Pate as the lead tech. As the finishing touches were completed, Adrian fell asleep in his new wheelchair! According to his mother, this was a first – and signalled success.