Still only 21, Kat Pemberton from West Yorkshire has forged a successful career as a social media influencer, vlogger and disability activist, not to mention making a short film, being an ambassador for Naidex and modelling for BooHoo.com.
Kat has achieved all this while also living with spinal muscular atrophy type 2 – a rare degenerative, genetically inherited neuromuscular condition.
It is thanks to her ambassadorial role for Naidex that Kat was introduced to Precision Rehab in 2018 – a meeting which she admits changed her life and has enabled her to ultimately return to her various careers.
Kat’s condition causes muscle weakness and loss of movement. This results in Kat living with joint pain, absence of tendon reflexes and extreme tiredness plus many more side effects, all of which are compounded by Scoliosis. Although Kat’s spine is now straighter following numerous operations during her childhood, she is still in pain every day and her posture is also affected meaning she spends much of the day lent forward leaning on the tray of her chair.
“I have been using a wheelchair or powered wheelchair since the age of 6 and can honestly say I had never had a chair which met all my needs despite hundreds of appointments with OT’s, social workers, suppliers and my local wheelchair services – many of which ended with me in tears,” explained Kat.
At the time of first meeting Precision Rehab, Kat had been forced to reduce her workload due to the discomfort she was experiencing with her current chair which had been provided by the local wheelchair services and offered Kat extremely limited comfortable positions and resulted in her suffering from pressure sores. It was also an indoor model which caused no end of problems when Kat wanted to leave the house either for work or trips out with friends and family.
“As I entered Naidex in 2018 nothing could have prepared me for what I was about see. I had never seen so many amazing products but nothing compared to how I felt when I visited the Precision Rehab stand and met Matt for the first time. As soon as I saw the PR30 I knew I might have finally found a chair and a supplier that would help me achieve my goals and finally reduce my levels of discomfort.”
Within weeks of Naidex, Matt was at Kat’s home with a demonstration chair. “Over the year’s I had been through some terrible assessments where I often ended up thinking my body was the problem but it was clear from our first meeting that Matt was both passionate about his job and extremely knowledgeable. I often describe my assessment with Matt as a Cinderella moment – but with wheels!”
As soon as Kat tried out the Paravan PR 30 at home and out and about she knew she had finally found a powered wheelchair that would enable her to live her life to the full both personally and professionally.
“The Paravan PR30 features many elaborate functions which enable me to make positional changes to help manage and relieve my pain by allowing me to sit comfortably for longer periods of time. Finally having a chair which is equally as good at home indoors and outdoors is just amazing and being able to return to work full-time is the icing on the cake.
“I’m also delighted to be expanding my shoe collection as I can now finally wear high heels – thanks to the electric footplate adjustment feature. I cannot thank Matt and the rest of the Precision Rehab team enough, their attention to detail and caring manner is second to none and I would not hesitate in recommending them to anybody looking for a powered wheelchair. I just wish I had met Matt years ago,” concluded Kat.
Further adaptations made to Kat’s PR30 to ensure it met all her requirements included a matt black paint finish, modified swing away brackets, custom moulded seat for increased postural support, a special tray and a pink golf ball controller.
Matt said: “Hearing what a difference we have made to Kat’s life is fantastic. With every client we strive to provide them with the powerchair solution which meets all their needs regardless of how specialist they may be and once their chair has been delivered, we are always on hand to answer any questions and provide technical support and servicing.”