Issy’s mum, Corrina McNamee tells us her story about the one simple change that happened over the school holidays that changed their family’s life.
“I’m not exaggerating when I say this chair has changed how our family lives life.
Issy has a rare neurological disorder called Lissencephaly which literally translates to ‘smooth brain’. Because of her brain structure she has fewer neural pathways, which effects all areas of Issy’s development, in particular her motor functioning (Issy has cerebral palsy) her vision (Issy has cortical vision impairment) and most challengingly, Issy suffers from complex uncontrolled epilepsy. Lucky she’s a bloody champion though.
Initially put onto TADWA by our therapy team many years ago, we used them for minor modifications around the home and they’ve always been really helpful and caring. But this time they have taken it one step forward.
The Sandpiper is Issy’s ‘go anywhere off road adventure wheels’! Issy relies on a wheelchair for mobility and her boring indoor wheelchair just doesn’t go to all the places a lover of life and the outdoors like Issy needs. The Sandpiper has big all terrain balloon wheels which has given Issy and the whole family access to the beach, parks and grassed areas, bush trekking, hanging out with the animals at our family’s farm, and all the best outdoor fun.
We live in one of the most beautiful cities on earth, wonderful weather and gorgeous beaches. We’re also super lucky to live very close the beach and Issy loves the water (thinks she’s a mermaid, doesn’t realise she can’t actually breathe underwater). Issy is also incredibly social, loves people and making new friends, and hanging out.
Before the Sandpiper Issy and I were less and less able to participate. Issy is now 11 years old and over the last six years (half of her life), we found it increasingly difficult to get out because as she’s gotten older and heavier we just can’t carry her long distances.
The pair of us had grown to accept – waving Dad, brother Thomas and dog Hunny off each weekend as they headed down to the dog beach. Even things like school fetes were too difficult as they were often held on the grassed oval and normal wheelchairs just don’t cut it. It had crept up on us slowly but in hindsight I realise just how much Issy missed out on, purely because she couldn’t get there. Well not anymore though.
Now, we head down the local park with Hunny whenever we fancy. We’re not worried about checking our route is paved (cause we couldn’t do grass verges and walking on the road can be a bit hairy) or having to drive to the only park with footpaths. The freedom we’ve had this first ‘Sandpiper-summer’ has been brilliant. I can’t imagine having to go back to life without it.
I cannot thank TADWA enough and especially Mary for the ease in/out super supportive harness she made. It works a treat!