EXTREME X8 FROM ALL TERRAIN WHEELCHAIRS HELPS ABBIE GET BACK IN THE GREAT OUTDOORS
Abbie Hunnisett, one of Britain’s hopes for a gold medal at the 2020 Tokyo Paralympics is now able to truly enjoy the outdoors thanks to her Extreme X8 Powerchair from All Terrain Wheelchairs.
21-year-old Abbie was born with quadriplegic ataxic athetoid Cerebral Palsy, which affects all her limbs and her speech. The family home backs onto woodland and when she was young her father Mark used to carry her there as it was impossible in a buggy or wheelchair due to the ground being so wet and uneven as he explained. “Abbie used to love going into the woods but as she grew it became impossible to carry her. However, the Extreme X8 powerchair from All Terrain Wheelchairs has reopened this world to Abbie and she loves it. Even getting around the garden was not possible unless the ground was hard and dry as her wheelchair would sink but thanks to the Extreme X8 Abbie can now get outside as often as she wants and wherever she wants”.
It is not only Abbie and her parents that are now enjoying more outdoor fun thanks to the Extreme X8 but also extended family. When Abbie visits her grandparents’ home she is now able to travel across the nearby fields and feed the horses – something she has not been able to do for many years. Family holidays have also been changed by the Extreme X8. The Hunnisett family often go to Spain and stay close to the beach. In previous years, Abbie has been unable to travel onto the sand as she would have sunk in her powerchair. But now she can be seen racing off across the sand and having a fantastic time. “This means we can now all enjoy a family holiday without Abbie feeling frustrated that she could not join in the fun on the beach with other families” commented Mark.
As a youngster, Abbie spent a lot of time taking part in dressage but as she grew older this became more difficult and after having a go at throwing a club, Abbie and her family soon realised she had a natural talent as her father explained. “In 2012 we went on holiday to France where Abbie had a few goes and was immediately throwing 12 to 13 metres. When we got home we went to watch the Paralympics and realised that even with no training Abbie could have finished in the top 10!”
In her first year of club throwing, Abbie was selected for the British Athletics future scheme and threw over 17 metres, this was followed by the European championships where she came 4th and then onto the word championships the following year where she beat the UK number one. Abbie also took place in the Anniversary games and broke the European record. Earlier this year Abbie took part in the Rio Olympics where she was disappointed to finish 4th and her focus is now on Tokyo 2020.
“It is great to hear what a positive affect the Extreme X8 has had on Abbie’s lifestyle and independence and everyone here at All Terrain Wheelchairs would like to wish her the best of luck as she continues her club throwing and training for Tokyo 2020” commented Richard, from All Terrain.