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.”