“It was very hard, way back then,” Jack recalls. “But since then, I’ve done a lot of things. I’ve coached rugby league teams for 13 years – kids, adults, females, representative teams. I played a lot of different sports when I was child, but rugby league was one of my passions and I just wanted to give back to the sport.”
Maria’s devotion and support has made all the difference, but she has faced her own cancer battle in recent years which has made the physical demands of caring for Jack even harder. The couple had a single ceiling track installed in their Christchurch home some years ago to help lift Jack out of bed. But it had a very limited range and using it was akin to precision parking.
“It was set up in one position only so we always had to adjust the bed to the track or move the furniture around and out of the way so I could get up and into my chair. It was just a big hassle.”
Jack and Maria recently visited Cubro’s Christchurch showroom to explore other overhead lifting options and found another configuration which provides full room coverage of their bedroom. Known as an “XY” solution, the new track can slide left and right, forwards and backwards to reach any point in the room. It’s wall mounted close to the ceiling and blends effortlessly into the existing paintwork so you hardly know it’s there.
Cubro Equipment Specialist Helen Murray also organised several different mesh slings for Jack to try. He settled on the Silvalea padded mesh hygiene sling which proved to be comfortable, easy for Maria to get on and off, and most importantly, helped position Jack perfectly in his wheelchair so his posture didn’t need to be tweaked once he was sitting down.
“This new set up has made it so much easier for me and my wife. The new XY room coverage overhead track means I can place my chair anywhere beside my bed and the sling drops me in the correct sitting position every time. My feet go straight over the foot plates and my bum sits straight in my chair so that’s a big bonus.