Courtney receives new evolution chair from Convoy funds!
18 year old Courtney Massey from Berkeley has been diagnosed with Epidermolysis Bullosa (EB), cerebral palsy, epilepsy, severe intellectual disability and dislocated hip.
EB is a rare genetic skin disorder which is characterised by skin fragility with blister formation occurring spontaneously or following minor bump or sheering force. Courtney has the most severe category of the condition (Dystrophic) in which the blisters develop below the basement membrane in the dermis of the skin and she requires oesophageal dilation surgery (in her oesophagus) every 6 weeks due to the significant scarring in her oesophagus caused by the blisters.
Courtney requires physical assistance from her parents with all activities of daily living including dressing, bathing and transfers. She is unable to communicate verbally, has a severe intellectual disability and is PEG fed. Courtney attends a day program 2 days per week and lives at home with her parents and three younger siblings who all have additional needs. Courtney’s mother and father both experience chronic lower back pain that is exacerbated due to the amount of manual handling required to position, transfer and care for Courtney.
Relying on a manual wheelchair for all mobility Courtney can only tolerate sitting in her wheelchair for short periods of time. Courtney is seated in an evolution chair when she is at home as this chair allows her to be fed in a comfortable position and maneuvered within her home environment i.e. to/from living area, bedroom and the outdoor living area. This chair is well padded and reduces the risk of Courtney experiencing additional blisters developing as a result of trauma.
The evolution chair Courtney was using was in a state of disrepair. It was purchased second-hand approximately 3 years ago and was no longer able to be safely used. Courtney currently uses the chair 8-10 hours per day. After submitting an application to the Illawarra Community Foundation, the board granted the purchase of a new chair for Courtney and her parents.
The new model of the evolution chair had been trialed with Courtney and is the most appropriate option as it will allow Courtney to be seated in a functional and safe position when at home. It will also allow Courtney to be fed in a comfortable and upright position and assist her parents to transfer Courtney with increased ease.
“It is our pleasure to provide a new evolution chair for Courtney,” says Marty Haynes. “This chair will enhance the quality of life for both her, and her parents, and make life a little easier for all.”