WHILL C2 powerchair gets Leslie back to walkies and weaving - TGA Mobility
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10th January, 2024

WHILL C2 powerchair gets Leslie back to walkies and weaving

Talented crafter and dog lover Leslie Harkes, 58 from Dunbar with Multiple Sclerosis, is no longer being held back from her passions in life thanks to her WHILL C2 powered wheelchair.

Leslie has two loves in life – her dog and crafting. Iggy the chihuahua is her perfect cuddly companion for days by the fire knitting all sorts of garments from hats to socks to cardigans. Without needles in hand, work as a local government auditor keeps Leslie busy at home, still with Iggy by her side. But when it comes to walking her ‘wee man’, having MS was getting in the way more and more. Walking any distance was becoming just too draining. Leslie needed some way of getting out – she found the Whill C2 powerchair on social media.

Living in remote East Lothian, all the roads and paths are gravel. Harry from TGA Mobility came out ‘to the middle of nowhere’ with one to try as she explains: “When the Whill C2 arrived Harry adjusted it to fit me, gave me lessons on how to use it and helped me connect the app. He also showed me the best way of dismantling and loading it into my car. Harry really took his time and made sure I could do it.” On her test drive Leslie could not only tackle bumpy tracks, she could also get around her home without any problems. Suddenly life had got a little bit easier with MS.

Now she’s more mobile, Leslie and Iggy are out more than ever: “On a day-to-day basis I use my powerchair to walk my wee dog. I think he loves the Whill C2 as much as I do. He did look at it first and seemed to be thinking ‘what’s that?’ but now he loves it as we go on faster and better walks. He trots alongside me and has a ride onboard when we are in shops.”

Iggy’s clearly enjoying his owner’s powerchair just as much as she is. And when it comes to Leslie’s second love of her life, her hobbies have also got easier: “All my pastimes are craft related so I use my WHILL C2 to go shopping for materials especially as I can put them in the wee basket. Using my hands is getting harder as I used to do needle weaving, but I can still knit and crochet which is good physio for my fingers. I plan to go out to Edinburgh later in the car to buy wool which is something I had given up doing; I put the Whill C2 in the boot.”

Leslie drives the 35 miles to Edinburgh in her medium sized hatchback. The Whill C2’s in the boot ready for action. It’s made shopping a pleasure and not an ordeal as she continues: “Oh my goodness it’s amazing. You don’t feel like you’re in the way as it’s so manoeuvrable. My sister has been absolutely gob smacked at how easy it is to get around. Before, we’d go out and within 20 minutes I’d be so exhausted that would be enough for me. Now with the WHILL C2 I can last all afternoon and keep up with her. The fact that you can turn on a sixpence is amazing; you don’t need to reverse. Plus, I’ve already been on several buses which was easy, both to get on and manoeuvre. Having a WHILL C2 is absolutely all about energy conservation.”

When asked about why she loves her powerchair so much Leslie adds: “It’s nice and comfy. What I liked about it first was the mouse controller; it’s really good. The mouse means you don’t need to use your fingers; it’s not like a traditional joystick. It’s so controllable both with direction and speed from the palm of your hand. The range is brilliant. It looks modern and nothing like a wheelchair; you kind of don’t see it. I knew the WHILL C2 would make a difference but I couldn’t have imagined just how much of a positive difference it would make.”

When it comes to finding ways to help with MS, Leslie recommends the Whill C2. “Definitely go for it and try a Whill C2, I think it is a good product for my condition” says Leslie. She has the strength to lift it on her own and is now planning more trips away. In fact, with Christmas and New Year coming, she’s going up to friend’s in Aviemore with her powerchair for the first time. “I’ve been going to Aviemore for years and have always walked to see the fireworks but last year I couldn’t, I just didn’t have the energy. My friends live nearby but it was too much for me. I’m looking forward so much to making it this year, without Iggy by my side for once of course.”

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