European Handcycling Champion Liz McTernan was in Lincolnshire last week talking about her sporting achievements and how she’s adapted to life in a wheelchair following a freak diving accident.
The 51-year-old from Grimoldby, who suffered a major spinal injury after she ascended too quickly following the malfunction of a buoyancy aid, was speaking at Obam Stairlifts’ open day in Sturton-by-Stow on 29th June.
Over 60 people attended the event at the mobility equipment specialist’s showroom on Tillbridge Road. During lunch Liz, who is also a two-time IHPVA World Record Holder, explained what a difference even the most basic equipment, such as a ramp, can make to the life of a wheelchair user.
She also highlighted the importance of accessibility and the simple changes businesses, organisations and destinations can make to give everyone equal access and freedom of movement.
“I’m really interested in the different options available to stairlift users now, especially the models that would enable me to carry more upstairs,” said Liz. “Ramps are another piece of kit that are top of my list as doorways with even a small lip can make getting a wheelchair in and out difficult.”
As well as outdoor games, a selection of Obam’s suppliers were on hand to demonstrate their equipment, which ranged from stairlifts and through-floor-lifts to ramps and hoists, and answer questions.
During the open day Obam Stairlifts also ran a raffle managing to raise £300 which will be donated to Liz to support her ongoing training costs.
Mark Buckley, Sales Manager at Obam, said: “We had a brilliant day and it was so interesting to hear Liz talk about some of the challenges she faces, not just in the sporting arena but in everyday life.
“It reiterated the importance of the services we provide to our clients, who like Liz have difficulty getting around, which is something a lot of us take for granted.
“We also had the opportunity to speak to a lot of potential customers and offered advice and guidance on the equipment we provide. I’d like to thank everyone who attended as well as our suppliers and the rest of the Obam team, who worked tirelessly to arrange the event.”
Liz concluded: “You don’t realise how much you take for granted until you’re in a wheelchair, but companies like Obam Stairlifts make a huge difference to my life.”