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‘In my Omeo I’m me again – I’m me again with wheels!’

Updated: Feb 6






It was a trusted friend who’d test driven an Omeo wheelchair for herself who convinced Michaela to book an extended home trial of her own. 

 

‘I’d seen the Omeo on Dragons’ Den but disregarded it because my back is quite fragile,’ she says. ‘So it was only when my friend said ‘you really do need to try this, Michaela’ that I decided to give it a go.’

 

Michaela’s first experience of using a wheelchair had been for a year in 2005, following surgery to remove a spinal tumour.

 

Initially told she wouldn’t walk again, she went on to regain most of her mobility and returned to her busy work and family life.


However, over time, she started to experience some issues and in 2022 it became clear that she going to need help with her mobility again.


Putting the Omeo wheelchair through its paces


‘Being stuck inside was bringing me down, so I contacted Adapt Ability to book a home trial of the Omeo,’ Michaela says.

 

‘I knew I needed more one-to-one time because of how my body works and the nature of what I want to do.’

 

Matt [Walker, Adapt Ability’s Sales Director] arrived at Michaela’s home and spent time showing her how the tech works.

 

‘Matt was great,’ she recalls. ‘He’s very outdoorsy and so am I, so he got me straight away. He’s also got a real ‘can do’ attitude that I like.’

 

Michaela and Matt then took the Omeo wheelchair to Norfolk so she could put it through its paces ‘in the rough’.

 

‘I knew it would work on the streets where I live but I wanted to be sure it could also get me to the beach at Wells!’


Taking time to learn the tech


Happily the Omeo passed the test – both on the beach and in the woods – and Michaela was excited to take delivery of one of her own in summer 2023.

 

In the months since she’s been exploring even more of the things that her Omeo wheelchair can enable her to do.

 

‘We all do things differently and it can take a while to pick up,’ she explains.

 

‘My kids, who are now in their 20s, had a go and got it in an instant but it’s been a very steep learning curve for me.

 

‘I hadn’t used a wheelchair for more than 15 years and had lots of scenarios to work through, like how will I get it in the car? And what will it be like in a lift? I lost sleep over that last one but, of course, it was fine!’


Living life to the full again


In fact, there’s been little to hold Michaela back.

 

As she explains, the Omeo wheelchair is ‘all about enabling you to continue to enjoy the life you want’ – and she’s certainly been doing that…

 

‘It’s made everything possible. Yes, I have to work out the logistics but it’s just brilliant. It’s made a big difference to all the ‘little’ things.

 

‘In my Omeo I’m me again – I’m me again, with wheels!

 

‘I’ve been to a Robbie Williams concert at Sandringham. I went to the village pub again with my family on Christmas Day without needing the car. I can go out with the dog…’

 

And, working full-time for herself – leading a team of 900 people across the UK – Michaela’s Omeo wheelchair has enabled her to return to the corporate events she loves.

 

‘I can see everyone and stay for the party after without getting tired. It’s created possibility and freedom for me again.’


Accessing ‘help to buy’ support


Meeting Matt has also enabled Michaela to successfully apply for an Access to Work grant, which she’s used to fund her Omeo wheelchair as well as other essential support.

 

‘I’d heard of Access to Work but didn’t think I’d be eligible because I’m self-employed,’ she says.

 

Happily, Matt was able to put her right on that. He also signposted her to Accessibility Partners for free support with navigating the process of applying for this government grant.

 

‘Applying for Access to Work is frustrating and long,’ Michaela agrees, ‘but when you get it it’s really great. As well as using it to help buy my Omeo wheelchair I now have other practical help too like a support worker to drive me for work meetings.’


Find out more


Want to know how Adapt Ability and Accessibility Partners can help make the process of applying for Access to Work easier? Read our blog

 

Want to test-drive an Omeo wheelchair? Choose one of three easy ways to try our tech here






























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