Jerry-Ray is now 16. Before she was three years old meningococcal septicemia meant that her legs below the knee, right hand and some fingers on her left hand had to be amputated. Her recent assessment for driving determined that she could learn to drive with some adaptations to the vehicle. These included an indicator adaptor, one hand steering ball and a keyless entry and push button engine starter. Her mother commented: “We were definitely very happy to hear that Jerry-Ray will be able to drive a standard car with just a few modifications. She is a competitive swimmer and trains at 5:30am every morning before college and being able to drive herself will take her into a whole new realm of independence.”
Claire Summerhayes tells us how QEF helped her daughter Daisy May…
Daisy May is now five years old. She has quadriplegia cerebral palsy, and other conditions that mean she is unable to sit, crawl or walk unaided.
"Bugzi is a wonderful idea for children that have severe mobility restrictions, as it enables them to move more freely and keep up with other children. It gives them confidence and helps them to uncover skills they may not know they have. They can make choices with the buttons or joystick rather than having decisions made for them.
Daisy May was introduced to a joystick to begin with and we hope that soon she will be able to use this, and that it will give her the confidence to use a full sized electric wheelchair when she grows out of the Bugzi.
We’ve also been shown some of the other services that QEF can help with, including assessments for air travel seating and transfer arrangements, so if and when we decide to go abroad, we’ll be able to decide what sort of equipment would be suitable. In future, when Daisy May does move out of her Bugzi into a larger powered wheelchair, we’ll also come back for an assessment for a mobility car that suits her needs."
Luaren is 17 and very enthusiastic about learning to drive at QEF's mobility centre. She is a competitive swimmer in the S6 disability class and has swum at national and international events. She has dwarfism, which means that she requires pedal extensions and extra seat support to drive. After an assessment to establish the most appropriate seating and control adaptions for her, Lauren, spent the first four weeks of her driving lessons on the track at the centre, getting used to the car controls in a safe but realistic environment. Having just left college, Lauren is now looking for a job, and being able to drive will mean her options are increased.
She said: "I love driving, it's really fun, and with the adaptations it's the same as anyone else learning to drive. I definitely sense that QEF can deal with any disability and after support."