MARK GREGORY CONTINUES HIS LOVE OF MUSIC FESTIVALS & THE OUTDOORS IN HIS FRONTIER V4 POWERCHAIR FROM ALL TERRAIN WHEELCHAIRS
44-year-old Mark Gregory, from Criccieth, Wales, has rediscovered his independence following delivery of his Frontier V4 powerchair from All Terrain Wheelchairs.
Mark was born with no arms and short legs and has been using electric wheelchairs from the age of 3. During this time, he has seen how advanced powerchairs have become from his first one which was made of wood!
As Mark has no arms and short legs he controls his Frontier V4 with his foot as he explains: “I was born with no arms, so my feet have been my hands from day one and I do not know any different. The most important factor when I was looking at a new powerchair was the fact it could be foot operated and that the control options were of a high enough quality. The Frontier V4 ticked all the boxes!”.
After researching on-line, Mark got in touch with All Terrain Wheelchairs and Director Richard Kusnierz visited Mark with two different models for him to test. “As Mark has very specific requirements, there was no point in me turning up with a standard powerchair, so prior to my visit we adapted our demo models so that Mark would be able to operate the chair with his foot and see if our chair was suitable” commented Richard.
During the demonstration, Mark was amazed that not only did the chair have the ability to easily mount kerbs (eliminating the need to find a dropped kerb), but it was equally at home going off road, on the beach or just getting around the house. “Most powerchairs with the power and capabilities of the Frontier V4 are very large and have a significant turning circle making them completely unsuitable for indoor use. The Frontier V4 is my only chair so it has to be equally suitable for use at home or tackling a muddy field at a music festival and it certainly is” continued Mark.
In the past, Mark’s friends have had to literally push him in his wheelchair through the mud when they get to a music festival as the ground is so muddy, but not anymore. Mark also visits Tenerife at least once a year and thanks to his Frontier V4 he can now travel along the sandy beaches without any fear of getting stuck.
Following the demo, Mark knew the Frontier V4 was the powerchair for him and Richard and the team set about designing a bespoke model to meet all Mark’s requirements. “I cannot praise the team at All Terrain Wheelchairs enough. From my first enquiry to taking the trouble to adapt a demo chair for me to try out through to delivery Richard, Cheryl and the rest of the team were fantastic. I would not hesitate in recommending them to anyone looking for a powerchair that will allow them to enjoy the outdoor lifestyle”.
Richard and the team will always do everything within their powers to enable someone to use one of their powerchairs regardless of their level of disability as he explains. “As Mark uses his feet as his hands we had to move all the controls to meet his requirements. This involved the production of a custom mounted joystick, mounted in the middle of the seat so Mark can drive using his foot. Mark’s Frontier V4 also has a custom “footplate”, which although not needed, serves to add weight to the front of the chair, for increased stability and traction. This is vital for Mark as he lives in Snowdonia and therefore encounters a lot of steep hills and rough terrain”.
The Frontier V4 has a top speed of 10 kph (6.2mph) while the articulated frame technology ensures both drive wheels remain in contact with the ground. This is achieved as the 14” low pressure tyres provide the necessary traction to navigate terrain that many people think is impossible in a powerchair especially in parts of the country such as Snowdonia where Mark lives.
Mark’s powerchair is a great example of how the team at All Terrain Wheelchairs go the extra mile to ensure the final delivered model meets the needs of the individual. Every powerchair supplied by All Terrain Wheelchairs is bespoke and available with a comprehensive range of seating and control options to ensure there is a suitable model for anyone regardless of their level of mobility and independence.