Four-year-old Lily is now independently mobile! She sits proudly and confidently in her golden PARAVAN Piccolino, a bit like a little princess on her throne. The special thing about this Piccolino is that it is the first in the world to be equipped with the new PARAVAN K110 small seat system that grows with the child. The little English girl has spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) type 2 and has been dependent on a wheelchair since childhood. PARAVAN licensing partner Matthew James from Precision Rehab in England was able to deliver the first seating system.
When Lily outgrew her Wizzybug - an e-buggy specially designed for children with disabilities - an alternative was needed that would help the bright girl to become more independent in the best possible way and, above all, in a sustainable way. "We started researching to find the optimal solution for our daughter. That's how we discovered a film on Precision Rehab's website in which a little customer was given a wheelchair," Lily's parents Tamara and Nick reported. "That was exactly the wheelchair we were looking for, the Piccolino by PARAVAN." The many possibilities offered by this flexible children's power wheelchair benefit Lily in many situations, especially the lift and tilt function.
At first glance, however, the parents were worried that the size of the seat would be a problem because Lily is so small. But PARAVAN licence partner Matthew James from Precision Rehab was able to reassure them. There were many customised options that would work. But it got even better: a few months later, Matthew was able to report that the modifications were no longer necessary. PARAVAN had developed a new, smaller seat. And Lily will now be the first child in the world to have a K110 seat fitted to her new power wheelchair.
"The K110 seat is the perfect addition to our ever-growing range of wheelchairs and accessories in the childcare sector. We continuously invest in research and development," says Stefan Ludwig, Head of Wheelchair Systems at PARAVAN GmbH. "The individually adaptable seat, even for the very youngest, brings the necessary flexibility. At the same time, it gives the smallest customers security, be it to have the necessary support or to be able to move around relaxed in the power wheelchair." The K110 seat has a minimum width or depth of only 24 centimetres. It has been designed to accommodate very small first-time users who would otherwise need costly modifications, such as side and upper body supports, to provide the appropriate comfort or postural support.
From the first time Lily sat in her new wheelchair, Nick and Tamara could see their daughter's confidence growing. From the beginning, she enjoyed her new independence. "The difference is amazing," they report. "For example, Lily was never able to sit up on her own." This, they say, facilitates activities that most people take for granted. For example, she now sits at the table at family dinners, or Lily can now talk face-to-face with her peers thanks to the Piccolino's many functions. "This boosts her self-confidence," says mother Tamara.
"Seeing the benefits the Piccolino brings to Lily and her family, and how great she is developing because of it, is both a reward and an incentive for us," says Stefan Ludwig. Due to the pandemic, the family could hardly go on outings with Lily. "Just being able to hold her hand on walks instead of having to push the chair is so great!" says Nick. The family lives near a bird park, which Lily loves to visit. However, many of the enclosures have a high perch from where visitors watch the birds. In the past, Nick or Tamara had to lift their daughter up. Now she just uses the lift function and can gaze at everything in peace.
Lily loves her new chair, as does the whole family. Added to this is the fact that the chair grows with her. If necessary, it can be changed to the next higher seat size, which saves the family additional costs and time-consuming adjustments. In the meantime, she goes to school. There, too, she can get to her classroom independently. In the playground, she is no longer pushed around by her classmates, but whizzes around the corners with her friends in her golden PARAVAN Piccolino.