Most life-changing piece of equipment I've ever bought!
I suffered a severe spinal injury in February, 2009, just slipping on an icy path.
Overnight, I went from an independent, hard-working, active 43year-old; to having to be hospitalised for a month, bed-ridden for 3 months, and convalescing with kind friends for 9 months, until I was, eventually, well enough to return to my home home - in a wheelchair, with an adapted vehicle, and a mobility scooter for 'longer' trips out, as my injury permitted.
I have been left permanently 'disabled', with a partially paralysed leg - and a very 'delicate' back/spine.
As well as the 'physical' injuries, I found the 'emotional backlash' equally as hard to deal with.
Having worked with children with special needs, prior to my injury, I was quite used to the 'stigma' that being 'disabled' entails, but to experience the difficulties of getting around in an 'able-bodied world' first-hand led to my feeling massively frustrated, and exhausted with effort, as well as very fed-up - to say the least!
My gradual rehabilitation has involved the researching and purchasing of various items of equipment, as required...starting with a wheelchair, then a mobility-scooter...and, eventually, the Consultant agreed that, in September 2010, I could begin to try and learn to walk again.
The problem was, I live in a very rural location, on a farm, surrounded by woodland and meadows - which is often muddy and wet (this is England, after all!).
I tried a 'conventional rollator' to start with - but couldn't manage the uneven ground, and was terrified of sliding, as the tires and brakes seemed insufficient, and my spine was jolted over bumps...
However, the mobility scooter was also struggling with the terrain - so, in desperation, I put in "all-terrain rollator" into the search engine on my laptop - and up came the VELOPED!
It seemed everything I was looking for - combined in one piece of equipment.
Was it too good to be true?
I ordered one to be tried out for the week-end....and can honestly say, it began to change my life.
The quality and design is breathtaking.
Every bit of the 'machine' has been so well thought-out and functional - and, suddenly, I not only felt comfortable being 'upright' again, but SAFE.
The all-terrain tires and magnificent brakes gave grip on mud and snow, and the pneumatic design took the 'bumps' and jolts away from my spine, and were absorbed by the Veloped, instead.
The adjustable handle-bars were ideal - raising the rubber, sturdy, hand-grips at just the perfect height for me - whatever my condition that particular day.
If I was tired, I can lower them and put more of my weight through my arms (thus taking the strain off my spine for a while), whereas, on a 'good' day, I could have them higher, so I am walking more 'upright' and with less upper-body support.
The quick-release lever moves them, easily and quickly, into position when the Veloped needs to be folded for transport in my little car - and the numbered column means I can easily put the hand-bars up to 'my' individualised height when I'm ready.
When walking, the 'sporty' seat slides right into the centre of the frame, so, unlike other rollators, I am walking 'upright' in the middle of the frame - in the perfect walking posture.
Good, comfortable grip is established on the handle-bars with my hands, and the effective brakes mean even steep downhill sections of wooded paths are suddenly accessible to me again, and safe (as when my legs are weak, the Veloped brakes 'for' me).
In fact, the Veloped is equally at home' in Town or Country.
The 'climbing-wheel' enables me to negotiate tree roots or rocky ground in the woods, pebbled beaches and coastal paths by the sea, and pavements, shop-doorways and kerbs in the Town.
Crossing roads is easy - even when the basket is full of groceries - there is no lifting involved!
When I am tiring, the 'sporty' seat is easily and quickly slid into position, and provides a comfortable and supported means of sitting - so that I can take necessary rest when in a supermarket queue, or can enjoy taking time to enjoy a favourite view, when out with my dog.
(I have a Staffordshire Bull Terrier who is nearly 13 years old - and even he opted for a ride home in the basket of the Veloped last week, when we were out for a particularly long walk!)
It is so lightweight, also, and folds down for transporting in my car - I have found it no problem to take on an aircraft either.
The quick-release wheels also remove for storage, and, when I had a puncture, recently, it was readily repaired by dropping the tyre off in a bicycle shop for the inner-tube to be patched, whilst I went in the hydrotherapy pool!
Physically, my muscle-tone, stamina and posture continue to improve with every outing, and, being enabled to negotiate steep hills once more, I am experiencing aerobic exercise for the first time in over 2 years - to the benefit of my lungs and heart.
Perhaps the most 'life-changing' aspect of my obtaining the Veloped has been emotionally, though.
Having been so active, prior to my spinal injury, I was very downcast with being unable to access the countryside where I live, and my confidence had dropped considerably - especially as I had become so aware of people's attitude to me, when in a wheelchair or on my mobility-scooter.
I found people assumed I was mentally impaired also, or unable to do anything, physically, for myself - and was often 'grabbed hold of' and pushed along in my wheelchair, when my desire was to self-propel!
Being 'upright' again, and surrounded by the sturdy frame of the Veloped, I am 'protected' from being knocked over when in crowds, but am also very much back 'in control' of my own direction!
The glances I draw now, are NOT those of 'pity' at my being unable to get about, but admiration at the nature of the terrain I am conquering, and wonder and awe at the nature and design of the Veloped that is enabling me to do so!
I can honestly say that it has, indeed, been the most "life-changing" piece of equipment that I have ever purchased.
I also believe it will remain in the family for many years also, as, when I may have recovered sufficiently to no longer need it, my elderly Father has his eyes firmly fixed on it, for his use!
I am forever grateful to the Trionic Team for designing and producing such a wonderful piece of kit - invaluable to all of us who have difficulties with mobility, access and having the confidence to be ourselves!
Thank you so much!