Strangers are always astonished at how well Maddie gets around in her wheelchair and stander at such a young age. They always ask how long it took her to master it the way she has with her quick twirls and sudden stops that are followed by four year old giggles. I have to admit, when the equipment was on order, I was concerned about the same things. I asked her physical therapist how I needed to teach my two year old to operate her wheelchair. She dismissed the question saying, "They pick it up faster than you'd think."
The day her wheelchair was delivered we waited in anticipation for the next chapter in Maddie’s life. They unpacked the tiny little chair, embellished with her light up wheels and her name monogrammed in bright purple on the seat. We picked Maddie up and placed her in the wheelchair, ready to begin the process of trying to teach her to get around. Before we could even finish strapping her in all the way she took off! She was down the hall in a flash, and by the time a few minutes had passed, she was already starting her signature twirls. We couldn't believe it! Not only did we not have to teach her, she was already looking like a pro.
It made us realize that she was ready, even at two, to face the world more independently. She no longer had to rely on the hands of an adult to carry her where she wanted to go and boy did she have places to go! I remember how strange and wonderful it felt those first few days to see her coming up behind me when I was walking into a different room. The beauty of her freedom brought me to tears.
Maddie continues to take life and all of its obstacles the same way she handles those first few minutes in her chair, head on and fearless. She is afraid of nothing! I pray that courage stays with her and only grows. I know that I have nothing to fear in that department because it is innate in her. That desire to go where she wants to go with purpose just seeps out of her every deliberate move. I also am so very thankful for the advances that give my angel "the feet" she needs to accomplish her dreams. I pray intelligent minds never stop innovating new and better ways for my Maddie to SOAR!
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The opinions and experiences presented herein are for informational use only. Individual results may vary depending on your condition. Always consult with your health care professional. This individual has been compensated by Bard Medical for the time and effort in preparing this article for BARD’s further use and distribution. 1501-48