John spent 20 years as a long distance lorry driver for the high profile logistics company Eddie Stobart. During his career he always focused on staying fit, never smoked or drank alcohol. He was a keen outward bound adventurer and had scaled Ben Nevis and completed the Three Peaks Challenge before his life changed dramatically in 2012. He was on a delivery run to Scotland when he was discovered unconscious in his cab – he was rushed to hospital where he was diagnosed with suffering a Stroke. Following this terrible experience John has been left with walking and mobility difficulties so has taken early retirement from the job he loved – exasperated by a recent Multiple Sclerosis diagnosis. Nevertheless, John continues to work on his rehabilitation and has just been able to expand his horizons thanks to a new cutting-edge mobility scooter with off road capabilities – a TGA Vita S.
The TGA Vita S is a next generation type of scooter that looks more like a motorbike than a traditional mobility vehicle. It has black sports styling, racing bucket seat, LED lights and alloy wheels that ‘look the biz’ as John says. The Vita S also has a pioneering suspension system that has evolved from innovations in the motorcycle industry. This rugged and reliable scooter has given John his driving freedom back as he explains: “I miss my Eddie Stobard days so much but my Vita S has changed my life. Living with the after affects of a Stroke can be really hard especially as it was too late for clot busting drugs when I arrived at hospital. Both my parents passed away after a Stroke so it’s no surprise and I’m glad to be alive. I did have some dark times when I thought what’s the point, but now I am out everyday on my Vita S making the most out of life. I have got some of my walking abilities back however this fantastic scooter is vital for me to get out in the countryside, I have done over 160 miles in less than 3 weeks!”
John continues: “As a younger man I didn’t want an ‘older person’s scooter’, I wanted something that looked cool and had the power to go along Bridleways. As I live in the country there are very few pavements so I prefer to drive along dirt tracks when I visit the village or Loughborough, which is over 5 miles away. The capabilities of my Vita S always impress my friends who also live in remote locations: ‘How did you get that up here?!’ they say. It feels more like a 4x4 when I am off road with brilliant ground clearance. At night the villagers say: ‘Here comes the Christmas Tree!’ as the lights are so bright – they can see me from a long way away so I feel safe. My doctor suggested I could possibly try and get my driving licence back but I don’t need a car anymore.”
John concludes: “I always make sure I’m feeling ok before I go out driving. It is important to remain in control and I believe safe scooter driving awareness days are essential so owners know the rules of the road and their own capabilities. Plus I think all scooters should be insured. With few buses passing my house and not owning a car, my Vita S stops me from getting lonely and even if it’s really cold, I just wrap up and go. I can now see my friends and it takes my mind off living with disability.”