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Written on: 04/06/2013 by jillsaudek (1 review written)

Now this was a new experience - to be wheeled along leafy suburban roads to my highlight of the day - a Sainsbury's shop! My husband did the hard work with extraordinary patience; indeed, despite my broken leg, the word "patient" applied much more to him than to me. I would make Formula One noises as we rounded corners at fine speed; once there, I directed operations, lifting a peremptory arm to the desired object, which was placed in the basket on my lap. I discovered a whole new familiarity with the bottom shelves and their often neglected goodies; I encountered the freezing blasts of the refrigerators at close quarters; I inspired cheery and seemingly genuine interest in my condition from hitherto impassive shoppers and check-out girls. On the way back, holding the laden shopping bag on my lap, I enjoyed a toddler's-eye view of front garden shrubs, curious dogs, and even more curious babes in buggies. One delightful dark-eyed boy insisted on holding hands with me as we crossed the road at the Green Man signal. I enjoyed many a benevolent smile from passing pedestrians: somehow my wheelchair status seemed to render me, in their eyes, sweet and innocent, an unlikely state which I made the most of. Communication with my husband was surprisingly easy, given the height differential and lack of visual contact. He didn't subscribe to the "isn't she sweet?" view, though I think he rather enjoyed being at the wheel, so to speak.

The chair folded neatly to fit in our miniscule "hall", its protruding front leg quickly dismantled. But did it stay there? No, no. For it also folded neatly away in the car boot. Pub lunches became our destination and provided a chance to see the burgeoning spring countryside. The excellent wheel chair was quickly found a home alongside a corner table by invariably friendly and solicitous staff. I sat on it throughout the meal,in perfect comfort.

It was a godsend, releasing me from the tedium of the sofa, watching helplessly as buds unfurled and blossomed throughout that long eight week recovery period. Wheelfreedom delivered promptly and punctually and without fuss, and the price was very reasonable - considerably cheaper than some of its competitors. We chose it for its price and loved it for its versatility, ease of manoeuvre and comfort. I am now on crutches, and the chair has been promptly collected and the payment duly acknowledged. I shall miss it: the unexpected reversion to childhood dependence which it gave. I had often suspected that children must love the feeling of being pushed around, grandly surveying the scene without effort; I now know that it must be so.

The product is aptly named: well done, Wheelfreedom!

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