- Gender: Male
- Condition: SCI C-7 Quadriplegic
- Prior Device: Manual Wheelchair
- Main Use: Work, Hunting, Attending Events
What’s your story?
I was injured in the summer of 1986. I was 17 at the time and already a dedicated outdoorsman – getting paralyzed wasn’t going to stop that. Since my injury, I discovered a passion for travel, photography, and outdoor writing. In 1998, I created a site called Follow Me Outdoors which was an information source for how to adapt to post-injury life and since then, have been published in about 10 mainstream magazines called Able Outdoors. More recently, I’ve gotten into training gun dogs and getting them ready for hunt tests.
Why did you choose Model M power wheelchair?
The WHILL Model M is the first power wheelchair I’ve owned and the more I use it the more natural it feels as a part of my daily life. I have 2 dogs that I walk everyday which amounts to almost 3 miles, so having the WHILL Model M takes some of the load off my shoulders; using it when I go out in the field to work dogs is invaluable. I love the sleek design and the ease of use the Model M offers. I’m looking forward to taking it on the road with me when I go places where I’d usually be pushing long distances.
What do you like about Model M power wheelchair?
Well, in addition to the sleek design and ease of use that I’ve already mentioned, I like its low profile – it doesn’t feel like I’m being swallowed up by the chair. The Varilite seat cushion is almost as good, if not better, than my own, so I don’t have to worry about sitting in it for long periods of time. The back is comfortable too. It’s nice that you can customize it to fit your body size and adapt to your needs. It doesn’t take long to get comfortable in the Model M, which tells me that it was designed right.
How has the Model M power wheelchair impacted your life?
It’s made it a lot easier to live the active lifestyle I’m used to. I use the Model M about 50% of the time to take the workload off my shoulders, which allows me to go twice as far and only be half as worn out at the end of the day. That’s huge for me! On a social note, I definitely get more attention in this chair and more people come up and want to talk to me about it. The WHILL Model M is a topic of conversation everywhere I go.
Note: Matthew had an extensive test drive with a demo unit.