Vaughan Rollins reached out to PQSA's OT team in 2020 after a conversation with her permanent taxi driver, who suggested she contact us for equipment advice. An illness in 2019 caused a decline in Vaughan's degenerative spinal cord injury, resulting in the need for a wheelchair. She was no longer able to live in her home of 23 years with her husband Graham and moved into a residential care facility, the Anglicare next door to her home. Being in such close proximity had obvious advantages but in a manual wheelchair, she was unable to access the outdoor spaces at Anglicare or visit her family next door. "I wanted to have control over where I spent my time".

In September 2020, she met Senior PQSA Occupational Therapist Rhys. After meeting Vaughan, Rhys quickly identified the need for Vaughan to access an electric wheelchair to help with her mobility. By chance, an electric wheelchair was donated to PQSA and after some modifications funded by PQSA, it was offered to Vaughan.

"Words cannot express my gratitude to PQSA. It has made an incredible difference in my life to be able to go outdoors independently and enjoy fresh air and sunshine. My next goal with Rhys' guidance and support from Anglicare staff is to take the chair to my home next door and spend more time with my husband and our little dog. The chair has given me a new lease on life!"

During Spinal Cord Injury Awareness Week 2020, PQSA were not able to recognise the week in the usual way due to COVID restrictions. Instead, PQSA reached out to all their clients living in supported accommodation and sent them personalised hampers, including Vaughan. "It was a fantastic surprise and such a lovely gesture."

Rhys is in regular contact with Vaughan as she adjusts to use of the new equipment. "Since mid December, Vaughan has already gained the confidence to visit her home, nearby friends and will soon be using the chair to go independently to the local shopping centre. It has reinstated the choice and control that she was missing and will contribute greatly to her personal wellbeing" said Rhys.

PQSA's Occupational Therapy (OT) service provides home-based assessments and intervention for people living with spinal cord injury. This includes activities of daily living, mobility and home safety. Our OTs can provide complex equipment prescription, home modification assessments, care needs assessments, recommendations for community-based services and wheelchair and seating assessments.

The team also specialise in driver OT assessments, rehabilitation and vehicle modifications. Assessment and recommendations can be provided regarding workplace equipment, modifications, ergonomic adjustments and return to work assistance. If you would like to contact one of the PQSA OT team please call (08) 8300 3500 and ask to speak to Annie Leane or visit our website and fill out a request form.