“I have been in a wheelchair for 38 years now. In the beginning I had a very heavy foldable wheelchair with a foam cushion and sheepskin.”
My name is Toine. My partner and I have been living together for 28 years and have met each other through home care. I have been in a wheelchair for 38 years now. I had a spontaneous aneurysm led to a C5/C6 spinal cord injury. This started with a snapped blood vessel in the T1/C7 spinal segment. Later, from one day to the next, the injury went up to C5/C6. In the Sint Maartenskliniek, a specialized hospital for everything that revolves around posture and movement, I rehabilitated within a year. In the beginning I had a very heavy foldable wheelchair with a foam cushion and sheepskin. In the meantime, I am 12 wheelchairs further and sat in almost every brand. My current wheelchair is a custom made one, that I’ve had for a couple of years now.
“During my rehabilitation I discovered wheelchair table tennis, and that’s how the first sports wheelchairs came in the picture. After my rehabilitation I played table tennis, wheelchair basketball and Quad Rugby.”
I am very active, I have always worked and played sports. I have been working for the Tax and Customs Administration of the Netherlands for 41 years now, first at the customs department in Rotterdam. During my rehabilitation I followed and finished subsequent education, after which I was moved to a location in Nijmegen. Also during my rehabilitation I discovered wheelchair table tennis. And that’s how the first sports wheelchairs came into the picture. After my rehabilitation period I continued playing table tennis for a while, before I switched to playing wheelchair basketball. I even was a basketball coach in Den Bosch for about 7 to 8 years. Next I played Quad Rugby at the Sint Maartenskliniek for another +/- 8 years. We even travelled in a bus to Nottwill in Switzerland together with the Quad Rugby team from Amsterdam for a tournament held at the Swiss spinal cord rehabilitation centre.
“The Vicair Active O2 wheelchair cushion provides a stable and good sitting posture, during both my everyday activities and handbike rides.”
30 years ago at the introduction of the Top-End, I won one of the first add-on handbikes (that was still a dinosaur! 😊). I’ve had 6 other add-on handbikes since then. Nowadays I have one with power assistance and with much joy I cycle about 3500km a year. The only requirement for me is that the temperature is above 5 degrees Celsius and that it doesn’t rain. For me, the handbike is the invention of the century, it has literally enlarged my world. I would recommend cycling to everyone! The Vicair wheelchair cushion lies in my ADL wheelchair and I use it for all my activities. Partly because of the good positioning possibilities of the air cells in my Vicair Active O2 cushion, the cushion provides a stable and good sitting posture, during both my everyday activities and handbike rides
“The stable front of the Vicair Active O2 supports me during my transfers.”
10 years ago, I first came into contact with Vicair at the Sint Maartenskliniek, after years of sitting on different types of Jay wheelchair cushions. During a hospitalisation to treat decubitus – caused by tight clothing – I was allowed to try a Vicair wheelchair cushion after a pressure map session. This cushion was completely filled with air cells, but I missed some support during my transfers. Because I slide when I make transfers, it is important for me that the front part of the cushion is stable. Despite this, I decided to start using a Vicair Adjuster cushion because of the outcome of the pressure map. The disadvantage was that I had to think in the morning if I had to make transfers that day, because then I had to sit on my Jay cushion. On an event organised by the Spinal Cord Injury Organisation of the Netherlands, where Vicair was present with a booth, I informed them of my problem with the transfers. I have followed Vicair since then. When the Vicair Active – with a foam piece at the front – came out, I switched to that cushion. Since then I can sit on the cushion the whole day, every day. Currently I am sitting on my 3rd Vicair Active wheelchair cushion, now a Vicair Active O2. Compared to my old Active cushion, the Active O2 cushion does an even better job at staying in the right position in my wheelchair during transfers and provides more support to my legs.
The reason that I like the Vicair cushion is because the air cells stay in their place. As many people will now, in a gel cushion the gel will always move to the space behind your buttocks, which quickly makes you slide forward. I also like the fact that the Vicair Active O2 is easy to wash and dries quickly.