Sunday, 21 February 2010
The power of blogging. I posted this plea for help/general moan a couple of weeks ago. And someone replied, suggesting I tried contacting HMS Mobility. Thank you so much for the suggestion! HMS did some research, and discovered Otto Bock spare tyres were listed at £149 each. Given the original price of Little Fish's wheelchair; £960, that means, the tyres - not the wheels, just the tyres - were 1/3rd of the total price. Ouch. Thankfully, although I'd have paid that to get Little Fish moving again, HMS also investigated other options. I posted Little Fish's wheels to them, they sourced some super thin racing tyres, fitted them, posted the wheels back, all within a week and in time to take the chair on holiday, and all for half the price of an officially branded tyre.
Very impressed with the service we received, lots of reports throughout the week about the progress the chair was making, and then to have the wheels couriered back on the Friday ready for our trip was just wonderful. I did then have to refit the wheels to the chair myself - and they aren't the simple quick release type - but spanners and allen keys and a bit of elbow grease and I got to feel all technical and important and self reliant. Until I realised these tyres were rounder than the official tyres, and so they were bumping up against the brakes.
I did, for a few evil moments, consider the advantages of having Little Fish effectively governed by having to wheel with her brakes on all the time, but decided it was probably not the kindest thing to do to her. So, wheels off, investigate the brakes, discover I can adjust the entire seat and lift it up a notch. This is good news; in two years it's stayed the same height, I hadn't realised I had space to make it bigger. Suddenly this chair may just do for the next year or so too.
Lifting the seat does not however sort the brake problem out. I examine the brake blocks, and discover I will need a very small, very flat, spanner to loosen things up there. So I shelve the idea and let Dad come for lunch on Sunday. He eats, we look at the chair, he hits the errant brakes with a hammer, and everything is running smoothly again.
Hurrah for HMS and for Grandads!