Costel is 33 years old and he lives in a village in Ialomița County (Southern Romania). He had an accident in March 2019. This is when he fell from a cart and became a wheelchair user. It was very difficult for him and his wife to accept this idea. They are still in the process of understanding how Costel can lead an independent life and go back to his roles as the head of the family and the father of their two sons.
It was very difficult for Costel to understand that he has to move around in a wheelchair. Before the accident, he used to work hard to provide for his family and did not want to become a burden. His wife who witnessed the accident was also very affected and she decided she will do everything in her power to take good care of her children and husband.
Following the advice of our team in Prahova county, Costel participated in an active rehabilitation camp (in Varatec, Neamt County) and in a 2-week active rehabilitation session (in Buda, Ilfov County), both meant to help him understand more about his new condition and to become more independent. His wife also attended both programs and our team discussed a lot with her about her role to support Costel without doing everything instead of him and to motivate him gain his independence.
One important decision that our team had to make refers to the type of wheelchair Costel should use. He is very tall and lives in a rough terrain area. He needed a wheelchair to match his size, abilities and also the environment. So, at first, he used a more stable wheelchair in order to practise basic wheelchair skills and to develop independence. Then, after the first camp, that he attended 4 months after the accident, his level of independence increased. So comes that in October 2019, when he participated in a 2 weeks active rehabilitation session, our colleagues realized that he needed a more active wheelchair. The one that they considered matched his size, but it needed some adjustments in order to be appropriate and safe to use, taking into consideration the rough terrain around the house. Our technicians changed the castors with a different model, of a larger type, so that it is easier to go over gravel and bumps. The wheelchair is also lighter and it is easier for Costel to use it on longer distances. Because of the independent living skills he learned, he is ready to go out more often, on longer distances, and to work more around the house. His goal is to be as independent as possible and to take over some householding activities, because he knows that his wife needs help. He is proud that he can at least wait for her with a good coffee while she takes the children back from school. Before participating in our programs, was not confident enough to practise the transfer on his own or to move around the house.