Colin McDonnell, 28, has Glutaric Aciduria Type 1, a rare condition that can cause difficulty moving, spasms, jerking, rigidity and decreased muscle tone and muscle weakness, which was misdiagnosed as Cerebral Palsy. His condition means he has complex physical needs, with severe generalised dystonia and scoliosis. As a result, he is totally dependent on his carers and his wheelchair. The youngest of six children, he lives in Leeds.
Through the William Merritt Centre in Leeds, an assessment for our infinitely variable Stabilo vacuum posture cushions was arranged, to facilitate Colin’s ability to fully participate in wider family activities, including foreign holidays.
Our Stabilo cushions are essentially mouldable beanbags, that are precisely shaped to support without pressure, and the moulded shape fixed be removal of the air inside.
The cushions can be infinitely and easily altered, at home, by the care team, and with no additional cost (unlike fixed moulded systems). A range of standard shapes and sizes are available, but we have the capability to create one-off, bespoke cushions.
“I was so excited that there was something that might let me be able to go on holiday, to fly to foreign destinations, but what about my high tone and postural needs?
"We quickly eliminated some of the options that would not be suitable for me. Gareth (AAT’s Sales Manager) was very patient, but we did it!
"The Comfortable Plus Duo [a combination seat with corset back, modelled headrest and lateral supports https://www.aatgb.com/comfortable-plus-duo/ worked for my back giving me trunk and head.
"Gareth was able to make the Grande mattress-sized cushion [https://www.aatgb.com/grande/] bespoke, making it long enough to come up the sides, for my pelvis and make a pommel. He could offer us a solution that we were all happy with.
" I wanted to go to Disney World, but Mum said that was too far, I chose Fuerteventura for a trial run. The Comfortable Plus worked a treat! I felt supported and comfortable. I even had a nap, and was asking when we could book for the US before we even landed back in the UK.
"When in Fuerteventura I didn’t have to just watch everyone enjoying the beach: we put my Comfortable Plus on a beach wheelchair so I was able to join in.
"The Comfortable Plus has opened so many experiences beyond the wonderful holiday.
"The family gets very excited when they see snow and go straight for the sledges. My sisters knock a few pieces of wood together, add the Stabilo cushions and off I go….
"I am not sure what is next, the cushions have opened up so many possibilities,
"As they say, ‘Watch this Space!’ The world here I come!”
If you think our cushions could enable you to participate more in life, we provide free, no obligation assessments. Book yours here:https://www.aatgb.com/posture-cushions/