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Tailored wheelchairs spin a new chapter in Rehab at Logan

21 May 2024

Shortly after his 21st birthday, Xzavier Mendelson suffered a life changing seizure that means he now needs to use a wheelchair and is undergoing extensive therapies to regain feeling in his lower body. 
As part of his rehabilitation, the inspiring young man needed to learn high-level wheelchair skills to achieve a level of independence to be discharged from hospital.
Until recently, patients like Xzav relied on standard-issue wheelchairs provided by the hospital for skill development, but a new initiative spearheaded by two passionate allied health workers has seen him trialling a newer, more agile chair completely tailored to his dimensions. 
Senior Physiotherapist Melanie Godfrey and Senior Occupational Therapist Pablo Zervas are behind the initiative, which they said was helping them meet the increased needs of the community.
In collaboration with Gold Coast company Motion Specialities the pair have successfully increased the Rehabilitation Unit’s equipment fleet by three new speciality wheelchairs.
Now on permanent loan to the unit, Melanie and Pablo said these chairs marked a significant advancement in meeting the evolving needs of the community and would even reduce the length of stay for some patients. 
Explaining the impact of the initiative, Melanie said patients previously had to wait until a monthly clinic where Zac from Motion Specialities would ‘script’ wheelchairs based on their measurements and requirements. 
“With the chairs now permanently available in the unit, patients can access, trial and order their chair at any time, expediting the discharge process,” she said.
The pair were also excited to introduce power-assisted wheelchairs for patients with paralysis, and an amputee wheelchair with enhanced comfort features such a large pads to accommodate bulky dressings.
After taking one of the loan wheelchairs out for a spin, Xzav reported a big difference in usability.
“It’s definitely more agile and easier to manoeuvre,” he said, before joking that it seemed like it would be much easier to do a wheelie in!
After spending nearly 10 weeks in hospital it was good to see Xzav’s sense of humour was intact! 
We wish him all the best in his recovery.  

Last updated 11 June 2024
Last reviewed 21 May 2024

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