Trix lives in the Philippines and ran across this website. She knew that this walker could help her son, Cash, so she contacted me. After passing on what info I had, her brother, Bryan, built this walker. They made modifications that worked for them. They didn’t have all of the same pvc options that are here in the US, so they used what they had. They made use of rubber wheels instead of the plastic ones, and added some support on the sides. I love this. Now, maybe somebody will see this post and think, “Ah, that’s just what I’m looking for — if I just tweak this piece, and that piece it will be perfect for what I need!” One thing I want to mention is that Trix hopes to make more walkers to help others less fortunate in the Philippines. Thank you Trix.
This is Johnathan. Johnathan’s mom was suffering from HeMBIB* syndrome from having to carry him to and from the car. Thanks to a new purple walker Johnathan can now walk to the car on his own. I learned a number of things while making this walker. First, since Johnathan is bigger than some of the kids I’ve made walkers for, I thought I could use heavier caster wheels. But, those wheels just didn’t work very well and would even get stuck going over carpet — so I switched back to the lightweight-plastic-blow-molded wheels. Also, I tried to put pins on the back frame so the walker could be taken apart, but it just wasn’t sturdy enough, so I ended up gluing it together. And speaking of sturdy, instead of the 3/4″ pvc pipe that I made most of my walkers with, I went with 1-1/4″. Even though Johnathan already owns a walker — it’s usually kept in the car. This is a tool to make daily life easier by helping him get from the house to the car without having to hassle with the ‘real’ walker.
*Help My Back Is Breaking
This just makes me smile. These are Ari’s first steps. I feel very privileged to have been able to make the walker for her. Yay for Ari and her family !!
This is my most triumphant creation yet! I’m so excited that we actually managed to do this and it works and works well. We’ve been using it for a couple weeks now and I can get John in and out of the pool by myself. (It’s still nice to have help, but I can do it on my own if I have to.)
I have to admit, that while planning this I asked some different people for advice, and I mostly got some version of… “Don’t try to make this. Try to find something that already exists.” So it’s an even sweeter victory. For what it’s worth, I googled for several months trying to find a lift. Mostly I found lifts for in-ground pools, not above-ground. I did find one for above ground, but it only lifts up to 31″ off the ground and I needed 52″ — and besides, that was about $4000. Way, way, way more than I would ever spend.
To get a rough idea of how it was made go to:http://www.instructables.com/id/Above-Ground-Pool-Lift/
And here to see it in action…
Do other wheelchair uses have issues with the footrests? John’s footrests never seem to be perfectly aligned. There are so many degrees of freedom, and so many bolts to adjust, that they never seem right. And now we have missing bolts, and bent bolts, which doesn’t help at all. My plan is to take it in to the shop to get fixed, but we just don’t have the time this week. So, here is my temporary fix. If I had had more time to plan and measure I think it would have come out better. As it is, one of the front wheels just manages to scrape along the footrest when he turns. That’s ok, it was just meant to be a quick solution. I didn’t like John’s legs just hanging without any support, and at least this provides that until we can get to the shop.
I’m not the only one that makes things in this house. These ramps are thanks to Charles. One from garage to kitchen. One from downstairs to screened in porch, and one from porch to backyard. He was able to use scraps of 2×4’s and 2×6’s and plywood to put these together. Because two of these ramps go out to the screened in porch and to the backyard (pool), he put carpet on top of the plywood to make it barefeet safe for non-wheelchair users.
John’s therapist said it would be helpful for John to do reaching stretches to help with his tight shoulders, so I thought another modification of the scooter/chair was in order. Now we have a scooter, or a chair, or stander, or stander with golfing attachment, or chair with shoulder exerciser attachment.
Well, another kind of failed project. We started with a soccer guard that John was given through a local power soccer team. (See here: http://www.powersoccershop.com/ps-forcesoccerguard.aspx) We took a large paint bucket and cut it in half and attached it to the front of the soccer guard with some bolts. Unfortunately, the 9 inches of heavy wet snow was too much for the light plastic bucket and it would just bend it. We did try taking it off and just using the soccer guard. It pushed the snow a little bit, but wasn’t able to plow like we hoped.
I posted a while back about a scooter that I made. The scooter was great, but I decided to upgrade it and turn it into a chair so that John could lean back on it. This has been a great thing to bring to people’s houses when we can’t bring in the wheelchair. If there are hardwood floors, John is able to scoot around (albeit slowly). It’s certainly not a perfect solution, but it definitely has made visiting friends a bit easier.
John has a hard time holding cards in his hand, but his brother doesn’t mind so much, because it makes winning at Uno a lot easier. So, to try and even the playing field, I took a scrap piece of wood and sawed a thin straight line into it (just the width of the saw). Seems to be holding the cards ok so far. We’ll see how the next game goes :)