Pete Donelly's recent news video for the BBC 'Top Tips for Wheelchair users' is a great watch for wheelchair users and others alike. Giving a real insight in to the daily life of wheelchair users Pete seems to have adapted brilliantly and copes with virtually all conditions of a normal city life.
Pete suffered paralysis following a motorbike accident at the age of 19 when a T6 back brake ended his walking life. This doesn't seem to have stopped Pete one little bit and his video shows this. He covers many aspects including self propelled wheelchair technique, including posture and self transfer in to and out of the wheelchair in seconds !
His self propelled wheelchair is a bit specialist and would suit only the younger more agile wheelchair user but does allow him to conquer all sorts including flights of stairs. The video includes some tips for more active wheelchair users including the back wheel balance which, as he points out is an important start to a number of daily manoeuvres including going up and down kerbs, ramps and steps. His agility and control is very impressive and while he is young and has good upper body strength, being in a wheelchair isn't going to prevent him from missing out on much.
As Pete says his wheelchair skills allow him to live the kind of life he wants to live, including of course going to the pub, the video shows Pete managing his pint whilst propelling himself back from the bar. By swapping hands from pint to wheelchair rim he makes it look so easy !
His wheelchair is fitted with a video camera for the article and much of the footage is taken from this camera and gives a great perspective of the wheelchair in use and more so Pete's experience and control.
In fact Pete's appetite for life is enormous and the accident and being wheelchair bound doesn't prevent much, including a parachute jump, his ambitious travel plans and recent trips to Asia and Bangladesh where he has worked as a volunteer. and This really is a must watch for wheelchair users and others - he's a great source of inspiration.
Following various charity trips Pete now works for Back Up as a wheelchair skills adviser and i'm sure will make a huge difference to the younger more adventurous user of wheelchairs.