Jacqui and her assistance dog Duke enjoy long walks together, thanks to her Extreme X8 Powerchair, from All Terrain Wheelchairs.
Shortly after getting engaged 10 years ago, Jacqui Gawn from Hook was diagnosed with MS. Unlike some people living with MS, Jacqui’s condition deteriorated quite quickly due to a number of relapses and she soon found herself requiring the use of a scooter.
It had always been the intention of Jacqui and her husband David to get a dog but they felt this would be unfair on the dog as they were unsure how her condition would affect her ability to take it for walks. However, 2 years ago, they contacted the organisation Dogs for Good to enquire about he possibility of Jacqui being accepted for an assistance dog and to their delight they were given the go ahead as Jacqui explains……
“When we were approved for the scheme we were over the moon. I have always been an outdoor type of person and was determined that just because I had MS I would still enjoy an active outdoor lifestyle. The only problem was every scooter I tried was fine on paths and concrete but as soon as I ventured off road I would get stuck despite being told the scooter would be OK. This meant David had all the fun of going for long walks with Duke while I was left watching from a distance”
All this changed when Jacqui discovered All Terrain Wheelchairs. “When I saw the videos online I knew I had found the answer and immediately got in touch with Cheryl at All Terrain Wheelchairs who arranged for Mark to visit us with a demonstration model. As soon as I sat in the X8 and realised what it could do I said to David ‘this is the one for me’ and it was the best thing I ever did, it is just awesome!!!”
As with every powerchair from All Terrain Wheelchairs, the width, depth and seat back height on Jacqui’s X8 were set up to ensure the chair offered maximum comfort and support. “I use my X8 every day and it is incredibly comfortable which was another factor when deciding to get one. But the main thing was the fact it does what is says – it is goes over all terrain. I am a firm believer that just because I have a disability, there is no reason why I should not be able to enjoy the outdoors as much as I did prior to my diagnosis”.
Jacqui, David and Duke will soon be heading to the New Forest for a week’s holiday and for the first time since her diagnosis Jacqui is looking forward to going where she wants. “I want to go where a mountain bike would go and I can now, after all you wouldn’t take a road bike off road so why would you try and take a scooter off road. I would urge any wheelchair or powerchair user that wants to explore the beautiful countryside we have here in the UK to contact Cheryl and the team at All Terrain Wheelchairs. They are fantastic and could not do enough to help”!
The X8 has done much more than just enable Jacqui to take Duke for long muddy walks as her husband David explains: The X8 has had an amazing effect on Jacqui. As her husband and carer, it is fantastic to see how much more confident and independent she has become. When she takes Duke out for a walk I can relax at home safe in the knowledge that I won’t be getting a call to say ‘I’m stuck again’ which used to be a regular occurrence”.
The Extreme X8 has a top speed of 10 kph (6.2mph) while the articulated frame technology ensures all four driving wheels remain in contact with the ground as the 14” lower pressure tyres provide the necessary traction to navigate terrain that Jacqui would find impossible in a standard powerchair.