However, Jason has C6 incomplete quadriplegia as a result of an accident in 1992, so he uses a manual wheelchair and has limited strength in his hands. One of the problems he and Kate could anticipate before the baby was born was that Jason wouldn’t be able to reach into the cot from his wheelchair.
The couple’s occupational therapist, Debbie, referred them to TAD. Debbie and volunteer Owen Spencer visited Kate and Jason a couple of months before Caleb’s birth to see how the cot they had bought could be adapted.
The first step was to raise the cot base so it was high enough for Jason to fit his wheelchair underneath. Owen planned the leg extensions so they could be unscrewed and removed later on. He then separated the drop side of the cot into two equal gates, hinged them from each end and braced them at the corners to strengthen the side and prevent sagging.
The bolts had to be carefully chosen so Jason could manage them without trouble. Slide bolts such as those used on theatre doors were chosen so Jason could manage the pair of them at the same time.
Two and a half years later, Caleb is now sleeping in a bed and baby number two, Zac, is using the cot. Jason is very grateful to Owen for his help. “The improved access to the cot has allowed Kate to leave the house for shopping or a walk, knowing that I could safely get to the boys if needed,” he said. “It is a real blessing, making it possible for me to care for my two boys.”