Making life easier for Christine

Coming home from a Mixed Open golf day in the country in 1984, Christine had a car accident, resulting in her becoming quadriplegic. At the time, she was 28 years old with two daughters Penny, seven, and Peta, five.

Christine contacted Automobility to help make her life easier. She had been able to transfer into a standard vehicle with hand controls, but needed a drive from wheelchair vehicle to help her independence and allow new a chapter in her life to start. After meeting with us in January 2017, we gave Christine the help and guidance that she needed and started our process. This involves:

Christine was looking for independence after the delivery of her new drive from wheelchair Volkswagen Caravelle.

Christine was looking for independence after the delivery of her new drive from wheelchair Volkswagen Caravelle.

  • Discussing Christine’s mobility and medical needs
  • Understanding the requirements for the vehicle including comfortability, space, access, measurements and usage
  • Free test drive to help Christine ensure she was comfortable
  • Our engineering team took over the complete modification to build Christine’s tailored vehicle
  • Final checks and adjustments
  • Personal delivery of the vehicle to Perth
  • Addition of extra features such as voice control unit and a one touch cruise control feature
  • After-sales service to ensure Christine always had advice, communication and partnership along with our servicing and repairs of her vehicle.

You can read about our full process here.

The Great Australian Bight on the way to deliver Christine’s vehicle.

The Great Australian Bight on the way to deliver Christine’s vehicle.

The time frame for which conversion was to be completed was important to Christine. Conversion started in March 2017, and Christine was overwhelmed to have her new vehicle delivered personally on schedule by 26th June. We even travelled to Perth to ensure she was happy and to make the final adjustments to her new vehicle.

Take a look at the video below of our journey to deliver Christine’s new vehicle and read her story below.

Christine’s story:

I became a quadriplegic, C5, C6, C7 in 1984 after an accident and another chapter started for my family and me. I was 28 years old with two young daughters at the time – Penny, seven, and Peta, five.

After seven months in rehab, I was discharged in March 1985 and in September that year, I gained my driver’s licence. I have always loved driving and since my accident as it has given me my only sense of independence.

I started with a manual wheelchair so a sliding board was essential for getting in and out of the car. After many years of doing this, my shoulders needed repairing due to ligament damage through pushing my chair, so I then upgraded to an electric chair, which I still have to this day. This entailed a lot of handling, as at first, the 20kg battery had to be lifted out and the chair folded in a frame. This created a lot of work for my family and friends. Eventually, I found a frame for the entire chair to be put on. Continual transfers resulted in developing a very sore neck as I was getting in and out for regular trips to Perth, and it has since taken its toll on my family and friends too.

I was at the end of my tether and needed a vehicle that assisted my independence and integrated into everyone’s lifestyle, so my investigation into a self-drive van started. After extensive research and inquiries with two companies, I chose Automobility after speaking personally with Jeff. Their care, values and experience really stood out to me.

Christine was ecstatic to finally be more independent and give her family and friends some relief.

Christine was ecstatic to finally be more independent and give her family and friends some relief.

We flew over to meet Jeff and his team in January this year to view and discuss the different models of vehicles. So many aspects needed to be covered; space for access, comfort, measurement for under the steering wheel, passenger seats – and many more details – but essentially the time frame in which a vehicle could be completed.

After gaining plenty of advice from the Automobility team, I decided on a VW Caravelle and the order was placed. Work on the wheelchair conversion started in March, and after one final visit in May to confirm all the measurements were correct, I had my vehicle in Perth by June 26th – right on the due completion date. Jeff and Brendan also came over to ensure that any changes that needed to be done were adjusted. They also added a voice control for activating indicators and windscreen wipers and later a one touch cruise control button was added.

It has been a big adjustment for me as there was a lot of information for me to understand but everything has gone great with practice, and the team at Automobility helped me with everything along the way. Communication has been incredible with the team.

This has enabled my granddaughter and I to easily and regularly go to the movies and shopping and it has ended the stress and wear & tear on my daughters and friends. It’s wonderful.

I have always tried to be independent and now at 61 years old, I feel a new stage of my life has begun.

Everything has gone smoothly from start to finish with Automobility and I highly recommend their products and services, either for personal use or a passenger vehicle.

We can make do with things in our life but to have things made much easier is wonderful!

Now I don’t think twice on doing things just lower the ramp get into driving position and off we go…

If you enjoyed this blog, you may like to read about Casey here.

Call 1800 662 454 or contact us online for an obligation-free vehicle demonstration.

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