Lincolnshire lady ‘walks on wheels’ with WHILL F - TGA Mobility
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12th May, 2023

Lincolnshire lady ‘walks on wheels’ with WHILL F

Retired teacher, Carol Coley, 77 from Grimsby, now ‘walks on wheels’ following her strokes thanks to a folding powered wheelchair called a TGA Whill F.

Hiking always brings back happy memories for Carol. A rambler and fan of ‘camp-cycling’ as she calls it. With husband Barrie and just a small tent, Carol would adventure across the Yorkshire Moors and cycle to explore Norfolk from their hometown of Grimsby. However, following a stroke walking is now impossible for her. So, what next? How could they keep going out when Carol couldn’t walk anymore?

A wheelchair seemed the answer for a while, but Barrie’s lung condition meant pushing took its toll. When a Whill C and more recently a folding Whill F powerchair entered their lives, ‘walking on wheels’ became a reality.

Carol begins her story: “When you’re being pushed in a wheelchair, for a number of years, you can lose your confidence to go out. Actually, you tend to never go out on your own. Now with my powered Whills, I pop into town on the bus and go to all sorts of places with Barrie or without. It’s fun driving onto the bus, I get the thumbs up from people and sometimes I even get a round of applause.”

“Through the Whill we’ve made loads and loads of friends as people have got to see us out and about. They’ll stop us in the street and ask us how we are. I say to many people: ‘I walk on wheels’ as I was inspired by a play I saw of the same name.”

Carol and Barrie have pretty much used public transport all their lives. At 77 she still wants to discover new places and her Whills make it happen. They meet friends in some ‘weird and wonderful’ places who say, ‘how on earth have you got up here?’

When not out in the wilds, Carol also finds local living easier: “My Whills give me freedom. Something as simple as not having to ask to be taken to the toilet when going out for a meal. It probably doesn’t sound much but it is, if it’s happening to you. And you are sort of abandoned when the person you’re with goes and buys stuff. The other thing that gets me is when you’re being pushed in a wheelchair, people automatically talk to the pusher. Not with the Whill. Most times I go out someone will stop me and say, ‘by Eck that’s good’.”

Now with renewed confidence Carol and Barrie are off to York in the next few weeks. They’ll take the train via Doncaster to enjoy the sights and sounds of this historic city. Joining a local choir is also on the cards and Carol is hoping to get her knitting group back together – all made possible by her powerchair.

Carols wraps up by saying: “When you hear people say their Whill has changed their lives, it’s true, mine have given me back my independence. I have called my Whill C ‘Aurora’, as it is a new beginning, and my Whill F ‘Pegasus’ as it has given me wings. Get a powerchair and get a life that’s what I say.”

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