David McConnell, Custom seating
Bespoke wheelchair seating transforms life of severely disabled boy David, 26, was born with Ohtahara Syndrome, a rare condition characterised by seizures and severe disability. David was one of the first in the country to be diagnosed with this rare condition, which has since become well know following the diagnosis of David Cameron’s son, Ivan. Ohtahara Syndrome is a debilitating progressive neurological disorder and is incompatible with life.
David has been confined to a wheelchair since birth. He suffers frequent seizures, has trouble feeding and poor skin development. David’s health and happiness is very much tied to the wheelchair he uses. His father Michael explains:
“I would do anything to ensure that David is as well, comfortable and as happy as possible and for sufferers of Ohtahara Syndrome, much of this rests on the quality and design of the wheelchair. Posture is absolutely crucial to David’s development, feeding and comfort.’
David was recently offered an Ottobock ‘custom seat’. Custom seating is the only solution for persons with complex shapes and needs. A seat is designed and developed to perfectly fit the individual. Ottobock uses advances in technology to create a digital ‘image’ of the individual. Foam is then carved by machine to exact specifications – ensuring a perfect fit. The digital image can then be kept on file for further use.
“Ottobock seating technicians visited our home and assessed David’s needs. They covered joint movement and range, sitting balance, alignment and flexibility of the spinal column. They also took further steps by looking at his vision, reflexes, eating needs, breathing needs and a host other factors that affect his positioning. The ideal posture was agreed and David was modelled within a moulding bag. Using bespoke shape software, the seat was then fabricated by a complex carving machine and team of experts in Leeds.’
“The result of this chair on the quality of David’s life is beyond words. David has never been so happy or so healthy. He is unrecognisable from the boy he was two years ago. Everything about his life has improved. For a parent, this is all we can ask as we look ahead to the future.”
About custom seating
Custom seating can improve patient comfort and function, where standard seating equipment fails, by preventing further deterioration of physical deformities as part of a ‘24 hour postural management programme’. Ottobock has numerous years’ experience within the design and supply of custom made seating and equipment. We are unrivalled within the market for our progressive technologies and have been generating graphical representation of seat shapes, using computer technology to accurately carve seat shapes and retain the information indefinitely allowing duplicate seating to be easily regenerated. The resultant product is highly accurate and efficiently reproduced, without the use of conventional plastering techniques. The varied use of foams and components means our product has the potential to cater for all clients and their needs. All our products adhere to the requirements set down by the National Framework Agreement, MHRA, British Standards and ISO regulations.