CHALLENGE

Six years ago, Kathleen contracted influenza B which quickly developed into double pneumonia and Kathleen ended up in hospital with Sepsis and spent the next 4 weeks in an induced coma. When Kathleen was brought out of her coma, she was told that the Sepsis in her limbs had become Necrotic and she would have to have both legs amputated below the knee and both arms amputated below the elbow to get rid of all the infection, to save her vital organs and keep her alive

After a year in hospital and intensive physiotherapy from the superb Sunderland Physiotherapy team and having six supportive brothers Kathleen was finally discharged and immediately started looking for a new home as her current property was not suitable for a wheelchair user.

STRATEGY

The bathroom adaptation was funded by a Disability Funding Grant from South Tyneside Council and was converted to a wet room with a fixed height basin.  However, Kathleen and her carers found it to be far from ideal as space in the bathroom was limited as Kathleen has extended leg plates on her wheelchair which take up more room than a standard wheelchair.  This lack of space meant Kathleen struggled to maneuver her wheelchair and was unable to get close enough to the hand wash basin. Kathleen raised the issue with her OT’s, and they suggested replacing the basin with a Ropox Swingline wash basin.

“Due to the swing basin’s design, it can be swung out of the way to create a turning circle area for my wheelchair, enabling the space to be utilised in the level access shower area.  I can now get directly close to the basin as the basin swings directly to me and the clever design under the basin means the extended leg plates are no longer an issue for getting up close” – says Kathleen.

SOLUTION

The Swingline wash basin is available with or without manual height adjustment depending on the model most suited. The range of height adjustment is varied depending on which model is preferred, allowing the user or their carer to set the height at the optimum level if a multiuser situation is required. The 180-degree rotation and swing of the basin is not affected by which model is installed.

“It is also incredibly light so despite having no hands and relying on my elbows I can move it independently which is amazing” continued Kathleen.  Kathleen’s carers are equally impressed with the new basin and have never seen anything like it before. My carers think it is great and I would not hesitate in recommending it to other wheelchair users” – says Kathleen.

RESULT

The Ropox Swingline wash basin has delivered a new level of independence to quadruple amputee Kathleen Maher.

“I came away from Kathleen’s bungalow consumed with admiration for Kathleen’s journey to recovery, and also realising how our lives can change overnight and felt proud to be working for Ropox and to have played a small part in helping, with a simple daily task, like washing or cleaning teeth” commented Nicola Zimnoch, Ropox’s Area Sales Manager for Northern England and Scotland.

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