As the UK sees the number of people undergoing an amputation reach record levels, a trail-blazing amputee is showing how to overcome the loss and live normally with assistive technology – even going to the loo.
Ray Edwards MBE is now Britain’s longest surviving quad amputee – ie arms and legs amputated – when he lost the limbs through septicemia in 1987. But his loss has been other amputees’ gain, through his work for other charities and now his award-winning charity Limbcare (www.limbcare.org).
“It actually enhanced my life, I would have carried on doing my job as a builder and never thought about how I could help others” observed Ray.
And whilst he has gone ‘above and beyond’ in activity – learning to fly, climbing Mount Kilimanjaro for charity, driving fast cars – he has learnt how to adapt in daily life, including going to the toilet.
“When I was in hospital, they put me on a commode in the ward. It left an indelible impression on me, it was so degrading,” he explained. “Once I was discharged, I thought ‘there’s no way someone is going to be wiping my bum.’ It took me a few years to find what equipment was available.”
“I first had Closomat toilets installed 18 years ago, and have only just had them replaced with the new Palma Vita model. It’s not just a product, it has the wow factor. It is sleek, and quiet.”
A Closomat looks like – and can be used as – a conventional WC, but has built-in washing and drying. As a result, the user does not have to manually reach, twist, turn and balance to wipe clean after toileting. Ray so appreciates the difference the Closomats have made to his daily life that he has even had one installed in his holiday home in Lanzarote, and wants to include one in his planned Limbcare Wellbeing Centre, which will provide a support resource for limb impaired, their families, carers and friends.
“The number of amputees is reaching record levels, and they are mainly ordinary people like me,” says Ray. “There are now some 100,000 amputees in Britain – diabetes is one of the main causes of amputation today. Whilst we receive support in terms of prosthetics, living daily life – even going to the toilet – is not necessarily something that gets addressed. That’s where my experience, and Limbcare, come in, helping people adjust, showing them what resources and equipment is available so they can remain as independent as possible.”
Closomatt is market leader in sales, service & support of toilets that deliver control, hygiene and independence at home and away. The Closomat Palma Vita is Britain’s top-selling wash and dry toilet, and the only one that has a raft of accessories to enable personalisation to individual needs, at the outset, and as their needs change over time. Over 150,000 permutations exist; thus it can be adapted for users of any age or size, both at initial installation or over time as their needs change.
Further, Closomat is unique in being the only company that manufactures its wash & dry toilet in the UK, and provides, in-house, sales, installation, commissioning and after-sales service & maintenance, giving users optimum peace of mind. Details of all the options, plus further case studies from real-life users, can be found here.