9 January 2017


Sadie Wells is a Kiwi kid through and through! Her happy place is under the trees in her local park in Napier, watching as the summer sun bursts through the leaves. Sadie sparkles when she is surrounded by people and she especially adores her little sister Pippa. 5-year-old Pippa is a year younger than Sadie and they do as much as possible together: whether it’s playing soccer in the backyard, or joining the other children down at the playground. Back home, Sadie loves playing on her mat with her toys where she has mastered a full 360˚ when lying on her side. While she enjoys a bit of alone time, Sadie’s a socialite at heart and when Pippa’s around it’s always more fun!

Mum, Vanessa, tries to give Sadie every chance to participate in doing the things she loves. Sadie was born with a condition called Lissencephaly (pronounced listen-carefully), a rare brain formation disorder which leaves the brain smooth, lacking surface convolutions. One of the effects of her condition is seizures which she can suffer from up to 6 times on a bad day. Her parents have rescue medicine on hand, however this can only be used for a few of these seizures per day. The seizures they choose to treat is up to them to assess at the time.

Sadie has a wheelchair funded through the Ministry of Health and while this is great for everyday use, Vanessa knew Sadie needed something a little more intrepid to keep up with the family’s activities. They were looking for a comfortable chair for when they were out and about. A recline function was desirable for when Sadie had a seizure. Vanessa remembered the Bingo stroller Sadie had outgrown years earlier – she applied to have this funded again but it was deemed not-essential. So, Vanessa began fund-raising and contacted Hayden at Medifab to get Sadie a brand, new Bingo!

Hayden supplied a slightly larger size 3 Bingo which will allow for extra growth and should last them up to 5 years. He took away the standard Bingo seat cushion and replaced it with a SPEX High Contour cushion which gives Sadie a really stable base for her pelvis and helps to keep her well-positioned. Sadie’s low tone means her legs tend to abduct or ‘frog-leg’ outwards so the side contouring of the high contour cushion gives her that nice support and keeps her legs inline. Hayden took a SPEX back support and made new extra-thick padding with supersoft foam so it was SUPER COMFY. Sadie is unable to maintain a midline position by herself, so trunk supports and headrest pads were added to keep her inline and in a good position. A SPEX hip-belt keeps Sadie from sliding out of the seat cushion and the chest harness was at centre-point to give her firm trunk control when out crossing bumpy terrain. Last, but not least, the seating covers are finished in Sadie’s favourite colour – Hot Pink!

Vanessa is thrilled with the result.

‘The Bingo allows Sadie to be part of the fun. It is light enough to get up over the wooden barrier and into the playground down at the park. Sadie participates in her own way; she can listen to the other children play, she can go on the swing, she just loves being involved in the activity.’

Before the Bingo, Sadie’s heavy wheelchair had to be left outside the playground’s wooden barrier. Now Vanessa can single-handedly manoeuvre the Bingo over wooden barrier and into the playground.

‘It’s reassuring to know that Sadie’s medicine is stored safely and securely in the Bingo which is within arm’s reach.’

Vanessa described the moment the Bingo was delivered,

‘We were like kids on Christmas day! It was so light compared to her wheelchair. This was such a huge bonus. Sadie’s only 19kg, and the Bingo is so light I can spin her around like a race car! She absolutely loves it! Fast walking and roadside curbs are no problem as the SPEX Seating absorbs the shocks. Her posture is much better as the seating is custom fit to her body. That means no pressure points being aggravated. We’re even looking at getting it modified with a mounting bar so Sadie can join us on bike rides!’

Hayden, and the team at Medifab were grateful to receive these great snaps of Sadie at the park!