WHILL C2 is a ‘game changer’ for doting dad Tony
Tony Senior, 50 from Burton upon Trent with ME, has been able to once more share outdoors experiences and holidays with his wife and daughters thanks to a ‘futuristic’ TGA electric wheelchair.
Originally from Wolverhampton, Tony was a successful self-employed IT project manager until his illness forced early retirement. Having chronic fatigue caused by Myalgic encephalomyelitis meant Tony couldn’t work and needed a wheelchair to stay mobile. His family life was also affected as Tony commonly would not go out with his wife and two young daughters as it was ‘simply too much hassle for everyone.’ This meant going on holiday together also stopped.
Tony decided to buy a cheap electric wheelchair off the internet to try and sort this out, but it proved unsuccessful, especially as the uneven pavements near him made him feel unsafe. He needed to find ‘a more substantial solution’ to get back outdoors and sharing precious time with his family. As a guy 6’ 2’’ and 20 stone, Tony felt finding the right powerchair was going to be challenge but was determined to make happy memories again with his family. He did his research and a WHILL from TGA proved to be the answer.
Tony is a proud man and wanted a powerchair that supported his self-esteem as he explains: “I first saw a WHILL on a very rare day out to Twycross Zoo. I got chatting to the owner who told me how brilliant it was and how it dismantled to fit in the car. What I really liked about the WHILL was you saw the person first. When people do notice it, they don’t know what it is as it has a futuristic sleek design and are curious in a positive way. My previous wheelchair was scary, I had no confidence trying to get over all the bumps and tree roots in our local pavements.”“Before I became ill, I used to love walking around Branston Water Park which is a real local beauty spot. I tried to visit with my old wheelchair, but it was hopeless. When Russ from TGA came out to professionally assess whether a WHILL was ok for me, we went to the park to try it out. Well, the experience I had was like the difference between night and day. The WHILL did not wobble or pitch over, there was no need for me to counterbalance going up or down kerbs. I felt stable and comfortable and it had all the space and power to accommodate my size. I was not tired when I returned home which was a first. I loved the connectivity – using the phone app to remote control my WHILL is now my party piece!”
The WHILL is a popular choice across the UK with ‘on the spot’ turning and suspension for tackling on and off-road terrain – providing confident enablement for all users.
As Tony continues to go from strength to strength, the WHILL has become a vital part of his life as he continues: “What does my WHILL mean to me? It’s simply a game changer. It enables me to go out on my own for the first time in years. I can fly solo without the worry. This may sound cheesy, but it really has changed my life. It is freedom for me as I don’t need to rely on anyone else. Before I couldn’t even get a pint of milk from the shop on my own. Recently the best thing ever was at the end of school when I surprised my two girls by going to their sports day. This was the first time I’d made it and didn’t tell them I was coming. ‘Daddy! Daddy!’ they shouted as they ran to me and gave me hugs, it was so emotional. My wife Louisa was in tears.”
Holidays are also now returning to Tony’s life adding to the special memories he can once again start to build. Tony concludes: “I am now not stuck at home missing sharing times with my family which has taken its toll on me. Even most previous family holidays I wasn’t able to go, it was just too much hassle when we got there whereas now, I can get around without burdening anyone. As I have confidence to get on and off ferries and trains, we are returning to my parent’s house in the Duras region of France in a few weeks’ time after a gap of many years. Having a WHILL is all about being able to be there and share those magic moments.”