Custom-fit gives Xavier greater comfort

4 minute(s) to read

Standing over six feet tall, Xavier Martin isn’t well-suited to standard ‘off-the-shelf’ mobility equipment.

His long limbs regularly fall off footrests and armrests, leaving him unsupported and uncomfortable.

The 43 year-old Aucklander, who is originally from New Caledonia, was a fit and healthy IT architect before he was suddenly diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease (MND) in April 2020.

He initially noticed a heavy-leg sensation and back pain and sought medical help for what he suspected was a pinched nerve. But there was no quick fix. Instead, the incurable condition affects the brain and nerves, causing progressive degeneration and loss of muscle control.

In the last two years, life for the Martin family has turned upside down. Xavier used to swim weekly and snowboard in winter – today he can move some fingers and hold his head up. “The rest of his body is either not moving or strongly impacted,” his partner, Karin, explains.

“Xavier needs help with showering, dressing, toileting, grooming, eating, drinking, using tech devices, movement. Basically all activities to get ready for the day and keep healthy and well.” Xavier recently began using a non-invasive ventilation breathing device, and his voice has become noticeably weaker.

To help with his daily care needs, Cubro supplied a RAZ tilt-in-space shower commode which was custom-built to meet Xavier’s specific requirements.

“As Xavier is quite tall (1.92m) a standard shower/toilet commode didn’t work well,” Karin confirms. “His arms, legs, neck and head weren’t supported and as it didn’t tilt, it was difficult to wash his hair and face and get him to be comfortable on the chair. The old commode was too upright to hold his upper body and take the weight off his sitting bones. The hard plastic seat didn’t give any comfort either.

“The new RAZ commode has all these extra functions and is soft and adjustable. The neck, foot and armrests are extra-long to accommodate Xavier’s dimensions. It is easy to maneuver the chair around and is easier to push too because it has better wheels than the standard one.”

The new tilt-in-space shower commode has also made things easier for Karin who is Xavier’s main caregiver and a busy mother to two boys aged 13 and 6.

“It is intense physical work for a carer to look after a disabled person and make sure he is well cared for and not in pain or discomfort,” she says. “If it wasn’t for equipment like this chair from Cubro, it would become very difficult to look after Xavier at home.

Our house is not suitable for disability, so the equipment is what makes it work for us. I look after him without many recovery days in between and I have to make sure I use equipment to assist me too, and protect myself from exhaustion and over-lifting.”

While MND has come out of the blue, Xavier is philosophical about the situation, simply saying “it’s our journey”. The couple are currently searching for suitable caregiver(s) to help support them both, and are grateful to have high-quality ergonomic equipment on hand.

The RAZ tilt-in-space shower commode can tilt 40˚ for pressure reduction and comfort, and the seat height can be adjusted in 25mm increments (555mm-655mm). A ‘tilt assist’ pedal makes it easier for carers to tilt the chair backwards for heavier users, and special locking gas springs make it simple and smooth to lift the seat back into an upright position. An adjustable headrest, footrest and armrests can all be added to this commode, and the seat can be customised for the perfect fit.

If you would like to find out more about our our RAZ solutions, please get in touch with our team on 0800 101 211 or email [email protected] 

Cubro case studies are based on actual testimonials provided by real customers and users of our solutions.  In some testimonials to protect the identity of the users, we have changed a name and used a stock photo. Our case studies describe our past work with customers and users, and detail solutions that have improved their quality of life. As each individual user has a unique set of needs and requirements, the content in these case studies should not be used as a substitute for professional advice from a registered clinician.